The USC Trojans travel to South Bend for their seventh game of the 2021 season, taking on long-time rival Notre Dame.
While most things are set in stone for the Trojans, uncertainty at the quarterback position persists. Interim head coach Donte Williams refused to explicitly name a starter on Thursday, when asked if veteran QB Kedon Slovis would lead the Men of Troy on Saturday.
"We will do the best thing possible to put ourselves in the best possible position to win the football game," Williams said Thursday. "So, if that is Jaxson, all of a sudden starting the football game last second, if that is Jaxson coming in the second or third series of the game, then so be it. We'll do what is necessary to win the football game, as long as his health is first."
Dart tore his meniscus earlier this season and underwent surgery following the Washington State game. As of Thursday, Dart had yet to receive medical clearance from doctors for week 8.
If he does not receive clearance, it's presumed that junior Kedon Slovis will start. Notre Dame is aware of Williams' remarks, and has been preparing for both players all week. However, head coach Brian Kelly told reporters that he expects to see Slovis under center.
"Dart is a very talented quarterback as well," Kelly said according to 247Sports.
"We watched this film. Live arm. Slovis, obviously we believe he is going to be the starter. If they get into any kind of a situation where they don't feel like the offense is moving, he certainly can go in there. Dart's just probably a little bit more dynamic on the edge, can get out and run and move around. But they're both outstanding quarterbacks. I don't know that there'd be that much of a difference in terms of our preparation other than he's a guy that certainly can pull the ball down and and be much more effective in scrambling situations."
The 92nd contest between the Trojans and Fighting Irish takes place Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. ET.