Kessler makes statement in USC spring game
APR 13, 2013 5:02p ET
Much to his surprise, Kessler was ordered by his head coach, Lane Kiffin, to go out and be the captain for the Cardinal team.
“Kiffin was like, 'Go out there,'“ the sophomore quarterback recalled with a laugh. “It wasn’t planned or anything. I was standing next to him at the time and he’s like. 'Just run out there and act like you’re a captain.’”
Kessler played it off well. The celebratory coin toss Kessler took part in actually took longer than his first possession under center on Saturday.
That took all of one play.
Kessler took the snap and found Marqise Lee behind the entire defense for a 70-yard score on the second offensive possession of the game.
Sophomore Max Wittek got the start, but Kessler certainly left an impression during the Trojans' annual spring game in a 42-36 win for the Cardinal.
Kessler completed 15 of 22 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns.
If the starting quarterback position was up for grabs on Saturday, he certainly tried his best to grab it by the horns, taking the same approach he’s had through all 15 of USC’s spring practices.
When Kiffin releases the depth chart on Monday, the starting quarterback position will likely read: Max Wittek or Cody Kessler or true freshman Max Browne.
“I left basically everything I had in spring and hopefully showed all the hard work that I put in the offseason and hopefully it showed on film this spring because (Wittek and Browne) are amazing quarterbacks,” Kessler said. “We all know we have to come out and compete every day and you, kind of, have to have a great day every day. You can’t really have a bad day.”
If Kessler is going to be USC’s starting quarterback in 2013, he may need to muster up whatever he had this spring and carry it into the fall. Following the scrimmage, Kiffin said he “would not imagine” a decision on Matt Barkley’s successor being made following the spring game.
This will come despite Kessler putting his best foot forward to eliminate the “or” and have his name in big bold letters on the top line.
“I think as we watch this we’re going to see them both make a lot of plays which is great to have,” Kiffin said. “I think there’s a lot of people around the country that are trying to have one really good quarterback. I think we have three.”
Wittek, however, didn’t have his best outing -- he was picked off twice by safety Demetrius Wright. Wittek went 12 of 17 for 145 yards and two touchdowns to go along with those two interceptions. Browne completed 7 of 11 passes for 80 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Browne also took a couple of sacks, which Kiffin said was one of the few negatives on the day.
“It’s hard to learn to throw the ball away,” Kiffin said of Browne.
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