Though the mastermind behind the offense may be different, the signal caller behind center for the USC football team this upcoming season will be the same as it was last year.
Head Coach Steve Sarkisian announced today that although the offense was definitely changing its pace from last year, it won't be changing quarterbacks and Cody Kessler will again be the starter.
Sark on Kessler: "I'm confident we can go out and win a lot of football games with Cody Kessler as our quarterback."— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) April 16, 2014
Kessler, who was 236 for 361 last year with 2,968 yards and 20 touchdowns on seven interceptions, beat out Max Browne for the starting job. Kessler will be a fourth-year junior going into next season while Browne will be a redshirt freshman after sitting out all of his first season last year.
Browne, the highly touted recruit out of Sammamish, Wash., was unable to match the more experience Kessler out of camp this spring. Although Browne did not win the job, he expects to work hard over the next four years and wants to finish out his degree and his playing career with USC.
"This competition is going to wage on," Sarkisian said. "Max isn't just going to go away ... When fall camp rolls around, he's going to come and swing at him again and give Cody his best shot and Cody will either respond like he did this spring and continue to get better, or Max will pass him."
Kessler started all fourteen games for USC last season, though he was not declared the official No.1 quarterback for the team until after the team's loss to Washington State the second week of the season. Last season, Kessler split time in first two games with Max Wittek, who has since announced that he will transfer and attempt to play again this Fall.
Kessler calls winning the job "another big opportunity for me", thanks Browne and Greene for creating a great competition— Mike Piellucci (@mikelikessports) April 16, 2014
With the new offense requiring the quarterback to make lots of quick reads and decisions at the line of scrimmage, the advantage Kessler has over Browne in experience likely outweighed any disadvantages Kessler may have physically.
Experience ultimately played a factor in the race, which from the start of practice seemed really anything but a true competition, but players know that all three guys will push each other forward through player-only Summer practices.
Listen to what else coach Sarkisian had to say about the quarterback position, including the budding but also positive rivalry between Kessler, Browne and Greene which dominated the headlines from the 13th USC Spring Football Practice.