Lane Kiffin: Nothing "Certain" on USC QBs and Other Pac-12 Teleconference Notes

Kyle KensingContributor ISeptember 3, 2013

Jul 26, 2013; Culver City, CA, USA;  Southern California head coach Lane Kiffin speaks to the media during PAC-12 media day held at the Sony Studios Lot.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

The quarterback competition between Max Wittek and Cody Kessler is still ongoing—at least, according to Lane Kiffin's statement during Tuesday's Pac-12 coaches teleconference. 

"I don't think anything is certain," Kiffin said. "We'll go out there [Saturday against Washington State] and see what happens." 

Kessler started the Trojans' 30-13 Week 1 win over Hawaii, and Wittek appeared throughout the second half. 

Kiffin reiterated his stance that the two are much closer in ability than some might think.  

"They've become more similar over time, [because] they've worked on weaknesses in game," Kiffin said. "There's not much difference when the guys are in there."

Kiffin is tabbing a starting quarterback for the first time in his USC tenure, and the decision has been followed with watchful eyes. 

The FOX College Football Twitter account tweeted on Tuesday that Kiffin made a choice on Saturday's starter, and would again open with Cody Kessler under center.

Kiffin said in his fourth season as head coach, he has "gotten over frustration" with media scrutiny, though he lamented questioning after the Trojans' Week 1 win.

"There were no questions about brand new freshmen making plays," he said, citing defensive back Su'a Cravens' interception, the first of four for the Trojans, as well as running back Justin Davis rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown.

"It is what it is," Kiffin said. 


Bye week before Nebraska benefited Bruins

UCLA head coach Jim Mora said an additional week of preparation before his No. 18-ranked Bruins travel to face No. 22 Nebraska on Sept. 14 will help his coaching staff fine-tune its game plan. 

"[The schedule] really lays out nicely for us," he said. 

The off-week also benefited UCLA in its preparation for Week 1 opponent Nevada, Mora said. 

"Had the Nebraska game been this week, way too much focus would have been Nebraska and not Nevada before last Saturday," he explained. 

A focused Bruin bunch had no trouble in dispatching the Wolf Pack, 58-20. 


Colorado coach wants to build off Week 1 "joy" 

Colorado snapped an eight-game losing streak and recaptured the Rocky Mountain Showdown's Centennial Cup trophy in head coach Mike MacIntyre's debut.

MacIntyre said during Tuesday's teleconference that beating Colorado State 41-27 gives his Buffaloes a tangible building block moving forward from the worst season in program history. 

"To see the joy on [the CU players'] faces, and all their hard work paying off, it was a great win," MacIntyre said. "But it's just one." 

CU hosts Central Arkansas, a Championship Subdivision team coming off a 2012 playoff appearance and ranked No. 7 in the FCS poll. CU is after its first win streak since beating Iowa State and Kansas State consecutively in November 2010. 


Sarkisian impressed with young Huskies

Several first- and second-year Huskies made impacts in Washington's 38-6 rout of No. 19 Boise State, said head coach Steve Sarkisian. 

"I was really impressed with the maturity of some of our players," Sarkisian said. "Jaydon Mickens, a true sophomore...[true freshman] John Ross." 

Mickens and Ross, along with freshman Kevin Smith, were the top three targets for UW quarterback Keith Price. Mickens hauled in nine passes for 109 yards, while Ross and Smith each caught four. 

They were crucial to Price's all-around solid outing, which earned high marks from Sarkisian. The UW coach commended Price's "distributing [of] the ball to a variety of people." Indeed, Price found seven different targets for 324 yards. 


 All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.