For those wondering who will replace Matt Barkley under center for USC, you’re going to have to wait a while longer for the answer.
In its latest depth chart released Saturday, the Trojans listed Max Wittek (pictured, No. 13) OR Cody Kessler (pictured, No. 6) — in that order, for what it’s worth — at the quarterback position. The redshirt sophomores have engaged in essentially what’s been a two-man battle for the starting job since the start of spring practice.
Thus far head coach Lane Kiffin has declined to tip his hand as to which direction he’s headed, even as some think he already knows who the starter will be and is simply making the season-opening opponent — Hawaii, coached by former USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow — guess right up until kickoff.
Gamesmanship aside, USC will head into the 2013 season with co-starters at the position, with Kiffin making it crystal clear that neither contender grabbed the job by the throat.
“If somebody would have outperformed the other one, we wouldn’t be here,” Kiffin said. “But they both did really well.”
The quarterback position, though, is not the only position without a designated starter for the Thursday opener at Aloha Stadium.
In fact, all four positions in the secondary have an “OR” between the top two players, with both safety positions carrying an “OR” between the top three players. Right guard, tight end and tailback also include co-starters. Or co-co-starters for the latter as the RB pecking order goes “Tre Madden OR Silas Redd OR Justin Davis.”
Redd, the Trojans leading rusher in 2012, missed the latter half of spring practice with a knee injury. Earlier this week, Kiffin said he’s “not sure he will be” available for the opener as the back continues his recovery.