USC down to third quarterback for Arizona State with J.T. Daniels in concussion protocol

The loss of both starting quarterback J.T. Daniels and backup Matt Fink in USC’s 41-28 loss at No. 23 Utah on Saturday has Clay Helton preparing third-string quarterback Jack Sears to start against Arizona State for this week’s home game. 

Helton said Sunday night he was unsure of how long Daniels would be in the concussion protocol, but indicated that if he was clear he would likely return to his position at the top of the depth chart. Fink broke his ribs when he was called into action against the Utes and he’s been officially ruled out for the game. 

Should Daniels not be cleared before Saturday, Helton expressed confidence that Sears will be able to guide the offense effectively against the Sun Devils, who are coming off a close one-score loss to Stanford last Thursday night. 

The loss at Utah snapped a three-game winning streak for USC and also bumped the Trojans from having control of the division race in the Pac-12 South. The Utes, tied with USC at 3-2 in league play, can clinch the division with wins in its next four games. However, three of those four games are on the road and the lone home game is against Oregon. 

After Sears, USC has quarterback options that include two walk-ons (Holden Thomas and Brandon Perdue, who joined the team late from the New Mexico Military Institute) and players on the roster with quarterback experience in high school, including defensive back Ajene Harris, wide receivers Randal Grimes and wide receiver Devon Williams.

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