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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

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Lane Kiffin Names Cody Kessler As Starting Quarterback

USC sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler wins the starting QB position over redshirt sophomore Max Wittek.

Lane Kiffin finally declared a starting QB -- Cody Kessler will be under center vs. Boston College. (Neon Tommy)
Lane Kiffin finally declared a starting QB -- Cody Kessler will be under center vs. Boston College. (Neon Tommy)

USC has officially named Cody Kessler as its starting quarterback. Head coach Lane Kiffin confirmed the news via USC Athletics, who tweeted out the news Monday afternoon. Kessler is set to start on Saturday versus Boston College. 

"I'm not going to get into, for the protection of the guys, this guy did this, this guy didn't do that," Kiffin told Pac-12 Networks on Monday. "We don't expect [Max Wittek] to agree with us. He's very competitive, like all the guys we recruit."

The decision comes as no surprise. Kessler was the favorite and started the first two games of the season. Kessler and fellow redshirt sophomore Max Wittek have been battling for the starting position since fall camp. In the loss to Washington State, Kessler played the first half and Wittek played the second half.

"We were just totally inept in the passing game, as bad as it can possibly be," Kiffin said, adding that Kessler will get "the majority of the reps."

Against WSU, the Bakersfield native Kessler went 8-of-13 for 41 yards and rushed for a 4-yard touchdown. In the season opener versus Hawaii, Kessler played the entire first-half and the first drive of the second half. He ended the night completing 10-of-19 passes for 95 yards, one interception and a touchdown.

Prior to earning the starting position Kessler served as a backup quarterback in 2012, and was the holder on all placekicks. He appeared in 10 games during the 2012 season and was 2-of-2 for 9 yards.

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