USC is heading into a massive showdown Saturday night in South Bend, Indiana, when it takes on No. 9 Notre Dame, and will be doing it with one of its injured quarterbacks back in action.
Coach Clay Helton confirmed Tuesday that Kedon Slovis has been cleared to return by the Trojans' training staff and will start vs. the Fighting Irish. Slovis has been out with a concussion since the first quarter vs. Utah on Sept. 20.
Slovis began the season second on the depth chart and stepped in for a injured JT Daniels in the season-opening win over Fresno State when Daniels went down with a season-ending knee injury. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound true freshman went 60-of-77 for 732 yards, five touchdowns and four touchdowns in four games, including three starts. He was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week in Week 2 when he went 28-of-33 for 377 yards and three touchdowns in at 45-20 win over Stanford.
Slovis was a three-star prospect in the Class of 2019 who enrolled early with the Trojans. He beat out Matt Fink and Jack Sears to become Daniels' primary backup prior to the season. His early-season emergence is a big reason why the Trojans jumped out to a 3-1 start.
Fink stepped in for Slovis after the freshman was injured on the Trojans' first drive vs. Utah. He went 21-of-30 for 351 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the 30-23 win, but he threw three interceptions in the 28-14 loss at Washington the following week.
Slovis' return to the lineup Saturday is an enormous development for the 3-2 Trojans. Helton was retained following a 5-7 record last season, and a win over the Fighting Irish would help the 2019 Trojans get back on track and Helton stay off the hot seat heading into mid-October.