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Cody Kessler named starting QB for USC

Washington State v USC Getty Images

Embattled USC coach Lane Kiffin finally gave up his quest for secrecy¬†surrounding the status of his quarterbacks and named sophomore Cody Kessler the starter heading into this week’s game against Boston College.

Kessler started the first two games of the season, but both times the fact that he was starting was not revealed until game time.

The sophomore had been competing with Max Wittek, another sophomore, all throughout the spring and summer. Neither quarterback could separate from the other coming out of fall camp, although most observers felt Kessler looked the most proficient in practices and scrimmages.

While both have played in the first two games, neither is setting the world on fire.

Kessler has a passer rating of 89.76 and Wittek’s is 75.33. As a team, USC is 114th in passing offense and 118th in efficiency.

The duo combined for just 54 yards passing in an ugly 10-7 loss to Washington State on Saturday. It was the fewest passing yards in a game by the Trojans since 1998.

If there’s one area that appears to be the canary in the coal mine for Kiffin’s coaching future at USC, it’s the performance of his quarterbacks with his offense. Both Wittek and Kessler were highly-recruited players, but they are both struggling to execute Kiffin’s complicated scheme despite being in their third seasons at the school.

For now, Kiffin is putting his future in the hands of Kessler. But without a concurrent change in offensive philosophy to suit Kessler’s skill set, this move may just be the equivalent of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

UPDATE: Here’s Kiffin explaining himself and his decision via Youtube:

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8 Responses to “Cody Kessler named starting QB for USC”
  1. classyjacklambert says: Sep 9, 2013 7:17 PM

    Which USC that lost Saturday?

  2. uscatjerseyshore says: Sep 9, 2013 8:15 PM

    There is only one USC. South Carolina lost as well.

  3. tamerofforces says: Sep 9, 2013 8:16 PM

    I haven’t noticed a complicated scheme, maybe I missed it.

  4. ramrene says: Sep 9, 2013 8:16 PM

    It doesn’t matter which QB starts the problem IS NOT the QB. Both Kessler & Wittek executed the plays that Kiffen called. When the play called is a short pass parallel to and behind the line of scrimmage and the QB executes completes that pass the problem wasn’t the QB, the problem was the play that was called.

    Another problem is Kiffen is too focused on Marquis Lee. It was so easy to guess what was coming because whenever the team found it self in a turning point situation he went to Lee. Washington St just followed Lee with multiple DB’s and took him out of the play.

    At the end of the first half Kiffen had Kessler throw a hail mary pass to Lee who was bracketed by 3 Washington St DB’s all the while Nelson Agholar (sp?) was singled up with a guy 3-4 inches shorter than him on the opposite side of the field.

    Kiffen is the real problem here, not the QB.

  5. pastabelly says: Sep 9, 2013 8:38 PM

    Take BC and the points.

  6. sillec28 says: Sep 9, 2013 9:54 PM

    Hey Lane, Tennessee AD is on the phone. Something about thanking you for quitting as soon as you did.

  7. soundsofsuccess7 says: Sep 10, 2013 10:20 AM

    Kessler is the only thing worse on this planet than Max Wittek and the holicaust.

  8. xtremesportsmaniac says: Sep 10, 2013 12:32 PM

    Soundsofsuccess7,
    You need help!

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