It was never supposed to be a competition. Max Browne was supposed to be named the starting quarterback by the end of spring practice. Then Clay Helton said he wanted Darnold and Browne to keep competing throughout the summer. Then Helton named Max Browne the starter. Then Helton started bringing in Sam Darnold insisting that it was in order to get Darnold reps. Now, Sam Darnold will get his first career start at USC on Friday night on the road against the Utah Utes.
USC head coach Clay Helton announced that Sam Darnold will start at QB vs. Utah on Friday. #FightOn pic.twitter.com/2P4d46cUNg— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) September 20, 2016
It is no secret that the USC offense has under performed this season. Experts like Phil Steele ranked the USC offensive line quite highly and players like Juju Smith-Schuster ranking as one of, if not the, best receiver in the nation. Max Browne was supposed to pick up this offense quickly and the running backs were supposed to dominate games. Now the offensive line is struggling, Juju has all but taken out of the games against Alabama and Stanford and Max Browne has lost the starting job.
Darnold has greater mobility than the veteran Max Browne which will allows offensive coordinator Tee Martin more options and flexibility on offense. Having a quarterback who can run, move the pocket or in theory execute the run pass option may be just what this team needs while the offensive line continues to struggle.
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