The first week of spring practice is in the books and the depths of USC’s quarterback competition remains to be completely seen. Head coach Steve Sarkisian reiterated on Saturday afternoon that he’ll name a starting quarterback between Cody Kessler and Max Browne “when it feels right”.
Sarkisian notes he’s never named a starting QB in the fall and would prefer to name one by the end of spring. Won’t commit to that, though
— Mike Piellucci (@mikelikessports) March 15, 2014
Sarkisian said he would ideally name a QB by the end of spring but doesn’t have that as a deadline.
— Rich Hammond (@RegisterUSC) March 15, 2014
Sarkisian told reporters following practice that both quarterbacks were planning “relatively well” in his new offense.
The guys are showing some real glimpses of real positive plays, and good plays from the quarterback position. And then, sometimes where they’re playing in a new system, and things are going fast and maybe they don’t make as good of decisions. All in all, I think the quarterbacks are playing relatively well for three days in a new system at the tempo we’re operating at.
After the satisfactory season that Kessler had in what was effectively his rookie season, you’d have to imagine that he would have done plenty retain his job, as our own Alicia de Artola pointed out before spring camp started in our quarterback preview.
Kessler threw for 2,967 yards and 20 touchdowns while throwing just seven interceptions in 2013. After a rough start to the season, Kessler improved on his efficiency as the year progressed as he moved on from the competition with Max Wittek under Lane Kiffin.
In the final six game stretch in November and December, Kessler completed 71 percent of his passes, had a 11-to-2 touchdowns to interceptions ratio and 164.3 passer rating. Moreover, of his seven interceptions in 2013, just three came in his final nine games.
But of course, redshirt freshman Max Browne was the No. 1 quarterback in the country coming out of high school last season and is both more mentally and physically prepared for competing for the job this year, as opposed to last.
Now’s probably a good time mention that the last two Heisman Trophy win– OK, we’ll stop. Vote in our poll as to who you’d like to see start for the Trojans.