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Matt Cassel Named Vikings Starting Quarterback

Former Trojan beat out highly touted rookie.

Peter Aiken

Former USC Trojans backup quarterback Matt Cassel won't be backing up anyone to start the 2014 NFL season. Head coach Mike Zimmer officially named Cassel the Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback this morning.

Cassel started six games for the Vikings last season, but his status was up in the air after Minnesota drafted former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater with its first round pick.

Matt Cassel, who opted out of his original 2014 contract in February and signed a two-year, $10 million deal in the offseason, has taken the majority of the first-team reps and played well in the preseason. Through the first three preseason games, Cassel has completed 26 of 39 passes for 367 yards. He has thrown a pair of touchdowns to one interception.

Bridgewater has played well and even led the team on a game-winning drive, but Cassel will get the nod to begin the season. The former Trojan will have to prove himself though. There could be a short leash and a quick hook if the Vikings get off to a slow start after last season's 5-10-1 record.

The Vikings have only been to the playoffs once since 2009 and were put out in the Wild Card round by division rival Green Bay in that 2012 appearance.