Could we see a new starting quarterback at USC?
Kliff Kingsbury came to USC to wake up a struggling offense that didn’t have much of an identity and he’s already shaking things up. In an interview with ESPN’s Shelly Smith, Kingsbury stated that he will have open competition when asked about the quarterback’s position and JT Daniels.
"It'll be open competition. I want to see how everybody handles my system."— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) December 26, 2018
New USC OC/QB coach @KliffKingsbury will open up the the quarterback spot this spring. #FightOn pic.twitter.com/LGsxeLOplH
Freshman quarterback Daniels’ performance was up and down this past season. Daniels threw for 2,672 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions and in certain aspects regressed as the season went. It’s also fair to point out that Daniels should still be in high school after graduating a year early to come to USC, so starting him was bound to come with growing pains. With a new offensive coordinator installing a new system, it’s fair to open up the job to see who steps up and performs well in it.
Back up quarterbacks Jack Sears and Matt Fink has also seen playing time in place of Daniels due to injury and both have shown the ability to help the offense move the ball. Sears was pretty efficient in his lone start of the season against Arizona State. The redshirt freshman went 20-28, throwing for 235 and two touchdowns filling in for Daniels who suffered a concussion, however it wasn’t enough to pull off the win against the Sun Devils. Fink took the place of Daniels for a series against Stanford and midway through the fourth quarter against Utah, after the freshman had to leave the game due to injury. Fink didn’t throw much, however the offense did manage to move the ball pretty fluidly.
With Kingsbury as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, he’ll want to evaluate what he has at the quarterback position. It may not be just the quarterback position as it may open up for all positions on offense. One thing is certain, it shows that nothing is going to be handed to anyone and will create a competition environment which some felt was lacking at USC. Head coach Clay Helton already stated that this will be Kingsbury’s offense to run and as you can see he’s already shaking things up to wake up a struggling offense.