September 7, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler (6) passes under pressure against the Washington State Cougars during the first half at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Lane Kiffin Names Cody Kessler as USC's Starting Quarterback


USC announced through social media today that Cody Kessler is officially the starting quarterback for the Trojans.

The off-season battle between Kessler and Max Wittek spilled into the first two games of the season with less than favorable results as both quarterbacks struggled to make an impact in the opener and were completely ineffective in USC’s 10-7 upset loss to Washington State.

Kessler was announced as the starter before the game on Saturday, but after a going 8 of 13 passing with just 41 yards and a costly interception returned for a touchdown, the redshirt sophomore was replaced by Wittek at the half.

Wittek didn’t fare much better, throwing for 13 total yards and an interception.

The announcement today presumably puts the quarterback battle to bed, as Kessler has officially started every game already, but the impotent USC offense still has a long way to go before Kessler will feel safe in his position. His best moments have come from plays that look foreign to Kiffin’s game plan – a downfield 19-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor in the Hawaii game and his rushing touchdown on a goal line roll out against Washington State.

Kiffin released a video on youtube explaining the decision and the offense in general.

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Tags: Cody Kessler USC Trojans

  • http://fansided.com/ Michael Castillo

    I honestly expected Wittek to be the guy, but at this point, I think the most important think is that the quarterback is given a gameplan designed specifically for him. Kessler and Wittek can each be successful if they’re given the chance to, develop confidence, etc. It’s just a matter of getting there that’s the problem, and Boston College’s defense is a lot better alternative to ASU’s defense to draw a gameplan against, although BC looks very improved.

    • disqus_5mzWKSTg3O

      Wittek has (had) the benefit of starting 2 games last year and I do not see an improvement on his part.

      There’s always a chance that Kessler will tank and Wittek will get back on the horse, but unless Wittek pulls a Cassell, his football career is over.

      • http://fansided.com/ Michael Castillo

        Wittek can rebound, I think. People said the same about Garrett Gilbert and he got a chance at SMU after he left Texas. Whether or not he rebounds here or elsewhere, we’ll have to wait and see, but I think Wittek is too talented to be written off just yet. He’s got to work to do, that’s for sure.

        • Trojan_SD

          Wittek’s got one hell of an arm and it’s beautiful to see the zip on the ball instead of some of Kessler’s wobbly floaters. But he didn’t do much with the opportunities he was given.

          Also, both of them stare down their receivers like there’s no tomorrow. I mean c’mon, if they watch tape, you don’t even need a coach to point that out. Might as well yell at the corners to notify them whom they’re passing to.

          • Marcelo Teson

            Wittek has zip, but like…ZERO accuracy. The guy throws in the general vicinity of his receives and hopes they can make a play and catch the ball. That’s part of the reason he was so ineffective in the Sun Bowl – with the wind whatever accuracy he had went out the window. I imagine this is why Kiffin is starting Kessler, because at least Kessler completes.

  • chuck howard

    …but just for the first half of the Boston College game. Then back to Wittek and then next up, the peanut thrower from Section 32.

    • disqus_5mzWKSTg3O

      The peanut guy would probably show more confidence.

  • disqus_5mzWKSTg3O

    Texas ‘reassigned’ their DC out of the football program after Saturday.

    Meanwhile, Kiffin makes a decision that he should have made before the season, yet USCs twitter account stills refers to him as head coach.

    What’s going on here….

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