USC vs. Hawaii: Lane Kiffin Releases Game 1 Depth Chart, Doesn’t Name a Starting Quarterback

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Lane Kiffin’s USC Trojans have released their two-deep for their season-opening trek to Honolulu on Thursday, where they’ll take on Norm Chow’s Rainbow Warriors of Hawaii.

The Trojans will open the game in Hawaii for the fourth time in school history, but they’ll do so without a publicly-announced starting quarterback on the depth chart, in addition to leaving a slew of position battles publicly undecided.

Kiffin opted to put both Max Wittek and Cody Kessler down as co-starters at quarterback, and with practices now closed off to the media until the spring, USC probably will not formally announce the starter on their own accord. That sentiment can also be said for a number of positions, mainly in the secondary.

Other notes from the depth chart:

  • Much like at quarterback, Kiffin didn’t tip his hand in the backfield, as Tre Madden, Silas Redd and Justin Davis are all listed as co-starters. Redd has been hampered with an injury during camp, while Madden and Davis have impressed throughout August. Buck Allen is listed fourth, followed by true freshman Ty Isaac and junior D.J. Morgan brings up the rear of the scholarship backs, in sixth.
  • In the most surprising turn of events in camp, Chad Wheeler has outright won the starting left tackle job over incumbent Aundrey Walker.  The junior Walker slides inside to the right guard spot, where he’s listed as a co-starter with John Martinez. Marcus Martin will take snaps at center, and Max Tuerk moves to left guard, while Kevin Graf is the only lineman to outright maintain his spot, starting at right tackle.
  • Both free safety and strong safety also have three starters listed. At free safety, Josh Shaw, Dion Bailey and Demetrius Wright are co-starters, while freshmen Su’a Cravens and Leon McQuay III share the billing with senior Gerald Bowman at strong safety. Bailey’s been out with a leg injury the last couple of weeks and will likely be a game-time decision.
  • At cornerback, Kevon Seymour and Devian Shelton are listed as co-starters on one side, while returning starters Anthony Brown and Torin Harris split the bill on the other. Seymour and Shelton have stood out in camp thus far, and it came out yesterday that Seymour would be switching numbers from 23 to 13 this season.

For the full depth, see below, and click to enlarge.

Topics: Cody Kessler, Max Wittek, USC Trojans

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  • hawaiiguy

    This just seems like a really bad idea. If you don’t force someone to step up it doesn’t reflect well on your coaching abilities. All the other stuff CK has done has been okay with me, jersey, voting etc. This is the only decision I take issue with. Kessler has seemingly played much better than Wittek so if its still prove yourself in practice isn’t this kind of a slap in the face to Cody? Wittek has continued to make freshman mistakes and has done a lot to take himself out of the start as far as what has been reported.

    • icurheinie

      I feel your frustration, but it can be a good move on a number of levels:
      -Since neither was chosen before the start of school, then neither can transfer without losing a year of eligibility

      -It keeps one of the most talked about decisions in football on a National stage
      -I’m pro Kessler, but don’t feel like he has “blown Wittek away” by any stretch, particularly getting outplayed by Wittek in the final scrimmage.
      -Hawaii is basically a “pre-season” game where both can continue to “audition” against lower competition

      • Connector

        I totally concur. I actually am looking forward to the QB competition in a real game situation. I don’t see any harm in waiting to see which one really steps up. There are plenty of games after that for the “winner” to establish himself as the leader of the offense.

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