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USC’s offense has struggled mightily through the first two games of the season. The Trojans are averaging just 278.5 yards per game and only four yards per play.
Quarterback play is at the root of USC’s problems, as neither Cody Kessler or Max Wittek have done enough to secure the No. 1 spot on the depth chart. Kessler has thrown for 136 yards and one touchdown in two games, while Wittek is just 8 of 18 for 90 yards and one interception.
And after Saturday’s offensive debacle against Washington State, it was clear coach Lane Kiffin had to do something about the quarterback play. Instead of going into the week with uncertainty under center, Kiffin – announcing via YouTube – has picked Kessler as his starting quarterback for this Saturday’s game against Boston College.
Kessler reportedly outplayed Wittek throughout fall camp, so it was a bit of a surprise to not see the sophomore named as the No. 1 quarterback before the opener.
Will it make a difference? Maybe. But Kiffin also needs to open up the offense and allow Kessler to take some shots down the field. USC’s quarterbacks are averaging just 4.5 yards per attempt this season. For a team that has weapons like Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor at receiver, the Trojans have to be more aggressive.
There’s still plenty of time for Kiffin to turn things around at USC, but the Trojans are running out of time. Boston College is improving, and Utah State will give USC all it can handle in two weeks. After playing Utah State, the Trojans play at Arizona State for their second Pac-12 game.
If Kessler can stabilize the quarterback situation, USC’s defense is good enough to win eight or nine games this year.