Freshman starting quarterback JT Daniels cleared concussion protocol and is expected to play on Saturday at Oregon State, head coach Clay Helton announced. Daniels suffered a concussion against Utah on Oct. 20.
“We’ll be preparing him and [redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Sears],” Helton said. “But things are looking good [for Daniels]. We’ll keep him out of contact and monitor him but have all anticipation of him being ready for the game.”
The offense has 12 total touchdowns and an average of 243.25 yards per game in eight games, attesting to their subpar performance and Helton’s decision to take over play-calling and fire offensive line coach Neil Callaway.
Daniels praised Sears for filling in against Arizona State on Saturday. He went 20 of 28 with two touchdown passes.
“[Sears] was phenomenal,” Daniels said. “You go from not taking reps in practice, to being the starter in a week. He threw some great ones. I think [Sears] did more than his part to help the team win.”
Daniels has had an up-and-down season, with an 8:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio in seven games. Regardless, Helton is eager to have him back, as the Trojans seemingly are looking ahead to next season and beyond.
“I’m confident in [Daniels] and what he’s done for our football team,” Helton said.
Daniels did take a majority of the first string reps in practice as he gets accustomed to Helton’s play-calling style. Playing a 2-6 Oregon State team that has given up at least 25 points in every game this year should be the perfect opportunity for the two to build chemistry.
“He only does what he thinks is right for the team,” Daniels said. “To be honest, the play-calling doesn’t really affect my job too much. I can’t blame the play-caller unless every player is executing, and we aren’t scoring, which isn’t the problem. Players [have to] execute. That’s the first thing.”
Freshman safety Talanoa Hufanga, who leads the team in tackles, is out for the season with a broken clavicle suffered against ASU. Senior right tackle Chuma Edoga is day-to-day with a hyperextended knee. Sophomore linebacker Levi Jones suffered a hip injury and is still recovering.