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Saturday, February 24, 2018

USC makes quarterback switch to Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold USC

USC head coach Clay Helton announced on Monday that his team is making a switch at quarterback from Max Browne to freshman Sam Darnold.

Helton told reporters that he made the decision after watching the Trojans struggle offensively in two of its three games. USC is 1-2 and scored just one touchdown combined in losses to Alabama and Stanford, though they put up 45 points against Utah State.

“He is not the reason we are 1-2. He is not the scapegoat here,” Helton said of Browne. “But the realism of football is when you are 1-2 and you’ve scored one touchdown against Alabama and Stanford, I wanted to see a spark in our offense, and I hope that Sam can bring that.”

Browne is 55/87 for 474 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions this season. Darnold is 14/22 for 136 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The freshman has seen some action in all three games.

Helton said he met with the quarterbacks on Sunday, told his team about the move on Monday and then shared the news with the media later in the evening. He also did not say this switch would be permanent, as he left things open for the future.

“I think we always compete. I’m always going to do what I think is best for the team,” Helton said.

USC will face No. 24 Utah on Friday.

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