The Backyard Brawl has finally returned! This is one of the most heated rivalries in all of college sports. Now it has a Trojan smell to it.
It’s extremely unique to have a returning rivalry game, where the quarterbacks were former competitors with each other. Kedon Slovis won the QB battle back in 2019, it wouldn’t be surprising if they both still had a chip on their shoulders from the competition.
JT Daniels entered USC as a highly touted local recruit from Mater Dei in Santa Ana. His first season was promising but the Trojans were starting to reload their roster, so they went 5 – 7. The following year he was hurt in the first game and Slovis replaced him.
Overall at USC Daniels was 6 – 6 and never got his starting gig back, once Slovis took over. His total statistics in 12 games were 2,887 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, with a completion percentage of 60.7.
He’s now at his third stop, West Virginia. At Georgia he couldn’t beat out polarizing Stetson Bennett and the Bulldogs won the National Championship without him.
Daniels issue has been injuries, mobility and inconsistency. He has talent, but he’s never on the field and he’s one of the out of style prototypical QB’s everybody used to look for.
Slovis entered Los Angeles as an unremarkable out-of-state three star recruit from Arizona. However, it’s never known when opportunities will arise. Incumbent QB Daniels hurts his knee and is out for the year.
Slovis never turned back and went on to lead the Trojans to a 15-11 record over three seasons. The lack of games is because of the shortened pandemic year in 2020. It was also because the 2021 season was cut short as a result of how the season was going and the Trojans decided to play some younger players.
His stats while the USC starting QB were 7,576 yards, 58 TD’s and 24 Ints, with a completion percentage of 68.4.
Slovis didn’t last at USC because he doesn’t have the talent to carry a program. He was great his freshman year but he was never able to replicate the success of this year as an individual.
As the season’s advanced some of his negatives started to show. He consistently held on the ball too long, he wasn’t the most mobile and he couldn’t stop committing careless turnovers. After his magical first year, he would force decisions and it cost him.
Make sure to continue to follow USC here at Gridiron Heroics, here’s an article on how USC will do this year.
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