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USC to ride with Jack Sears at quarterback vs. Arizona State

With JT Daniels not clearing concussion protocol, redshirt freshman Jack Sears will get the call for the USC Trojans at quarterback Saturday against the Sun Devils.

NCAA Football: Southern California Spring Game Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Jack Sears time.

With true freshman quarterback JT Daniels unable to suit up for USC on Saturday for its home game against Arizona State, the Trojans will turn to their third-string gunslinger Sears.

The redshirt freshman out of San Clemente will make his USC debut as a result to Daniels not being cleared to play after he suffered a concussion last week in the loss against Utah. Daniels’ backup, redshirt sophomore Matt Fink, is also out after he suffered broken ribs last week.

NCAA Football: Southern California Spring Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While it’s not the best matchup for a guy making his college debut, Sears will face a defense that is ranked No. 61 in the nation. However, coach Clay Helton and offensive coordinator Tee Martin are likely to dial up a run-heavy game plan including running back Aca’Cedric Ware, Stephen Carr and Vavae Malepai to make it easier for Sears to get comfortable with the game flow. Considering that Arizona State’s defense is surrendering 162.1 yards per game, that type of attack should work.

The biggest question for Sears going into Saturday is can his offensive line protect him? The offensive line struggled mightily to protect Daniels and Fink last Saturday and we all know how that ended.

Sears did show he can air it out during his time at San Clemente. The former Titan recorded 5,299 yards and 74 touchdowns during his final two seasons at Sam Darnold’s alma mater. Trojans fans are hoping that the 6-foot-3 Sears can rekindle some of that high school magic (and some of Darnold’s) against coach Herm Edwards and the Sun Devils.