USC quarterback JT Daniels tears ACL, meniscus in first game of season

USC star J.T. Daniels' season is already over after he suffered a torn ACL and torn meniscus in his right knee against Fresno State in the season opener Saturday night.

Daniels, a sophomore, was injured in the second quarter with the Trojans up 17-10 on the Bulldogs and 27 seconds left to play in the half. Daniels took the snap and scrambled under pressure before taking the sack. However, the tackle was more serious than initially thought.

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“Gut-wrenching,” coach Clay Helton told reporters after the game. “When you see a guy who’s poured so much into the game and into this team and into his becoming better physically and mentally as a quarterback. I said a prayer as soon as I saw it and I hope we’ll get the best results tomorrow and see where it lies.”

True freshman Kedon Slovis stepped in and helped USC win 31-23. He will start Saturday against No. 25 Stanford in the first conference game of the season.

“I always judge their eyes, and there was no fear. For him to walk out there and execute the offense,” Helton said. “He had one interception on a deep ball, but he had another deep ball that put us in scoring position. He did things in a tough position to win. It’s about him getting better next week and getting better for the next game. I appreciate him.”

Southern California quarterback JT Daniels is carted off the field after being injured during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Fresno State Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Los Angeles.

Southern California quarterback JT Daniels is carted off the field after being injured during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Fresno State Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP)

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Slovis had beaten out redshirt junior Matt Fink and redshirt sophomore Jack Sears for the backup job in camp.