Cody Kessler Reportedly Named USC's Starting QB vs. Washington St.

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIISeptember 3, 2013

The No. 25 USC Trojans entered the 2013 college football season with a major question mark at the quarterback position. Week 1 didn't provide many answers, as both Cody Kessler and Max Wittek took snaps during an uninspiring 30-13 victory over the Hawaii Warriors.

According to FOX College Football on Twitter, USC will start Kessler during its Week 2 conference game against the Washington State Cougars in hopes of seeing improvement under center.

Kessler started the Trojans' game against Hawaii, but was relieved by Wittek after a lackluster first half.

The two have been in a position battle since the offseason, with both players attempting to take over the starting job after longtime starter Matt Barkley went to the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2013 NFL draft.

In his debut, Kessler was 10-of-19 for 95 yards, throwing one touchdown and an interception. He was also sacked for a safety, but responded with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor later in the second quarter.

Kessler's recovery appears to be enough to keep the job—for now.     

Wittek didn't help himself much, going 5-of-10 for 77 yards and no scores as he spent most of his time handing the ball off in the second half. With Tre Madden rushing for 109 yards on 18 carries and Justin Davis going for 74 yards on 14 attempts, it's not hard to see why the Trojans deferred to the run.

Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles is reporting that star running back Silas Redd could be available for USC's game against Washington State. As a result, the Trojans could lean on a three-headed rushing attack to help alleviate the pressure on Kessler.

As for Kessler, he's preparing to go up against a Cougars team that allowed 31 points during the opening week of the season. Washington State held the Auburn Tigers to 99 yards passing, although it did give up 295 yards on the ground.

Only two of Auburn's touchdowns were from scrimmage.

To make matters worse for USC, Washington State's Connor Halliday threw for 344 yards and a touchdown against the Tigers, so it could take a massive performance by Kessler to match Mike Leach's high-powered offensive attack.

Consider this Kessler's proving ground as he looks to secure a firm grip on the starting quarterback position.

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