Two Man Race

By: Jamari Jordan

This past weekend No. 24 University of Southern California head coach, Lane Kiffin, announced that USC will play both sophomore Max Wittek and sophomore Cody Kessler in the season opener Thursday against Hawaii.

“We’ve got two guys that we feel great about. We don’t feel like we have to limit our offense with either one of them in there,” Kiffin told the media.

Coming into the season, several media outlets slated Wittek as the starter. The sophomore started the last two games for the Trojans last season. However, both were losses, and Wittek only completed 52% of his passes with only three touchdowns and five interceptions. With the addition of strong camp workouts from Kessler, the fact that the competition is dead even doesn’t seem too surprising.

Nevertheless, Kiffin’s biggest task may not involve choosing a starting quarterback but pleasing All-American wide receiver Marqise Lee. “Dude, this is crazy… I’m still waiting. I don’t know when coach Kiffin is going to actually decide,” Lee told the media after a USC scrimmage last week. Lee was the focal point of the Trojans’ offense last year with over 110 catches, 1,721 yards, and 18 touchdowns. Therefore, the reigning Biletnikoff winner will have a strong influence on who would be eventually named the starter.

At the same token, Lee acknowledged that regardless who is named starter, he will have work to do. “I have flaws with both Wittek and Kessler that I need to improve on,” Lee said. Even with no starter named, the Trojans are 21.5 point favorites against Hawaii. USC athletic director, Pat Haden, said that USC will name a starter after the second game.

The two-quarterback system will be on display as USC opens its season Thursday at Hawaii 11pm ET on the CBS Sports Network. Then, the Trojans open PAC-12 conference play versus Washington State at home.

-August 27, 2013

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3 thoughts on “Two Man Race

  1. catrinar31

    Editor’s Comments: The way you included the stats was brilliant,but i think you should include a hyperlink of where you received the stats in order to give credit to your source. With the last two sentences in the blog, I feel like some kind of way you can rewrite the last two sentences to be one sentence.

    Reply
  2. laurenamayosports

    I thought you had excellent stats on Lee and Wittek. You said that media outlets pegged Wittek as the starter. I’d suggest naming or linking the media who made that claim to support your assertion. I would also suggest linking and naming which media outlet Kiffin’s quote came from. I liked your angle and felt the post had voice. Great job!

    Reply
  3. nickvsuss

    I thought that this post did a good job of addressing the background behind the Wittek vs. Kessler situation and also shed light upon how both the previous season’s statistics and Marquise Lee factor into the situation. If I have one gripe, it is that the first half of the lede confused me a bit. I don’t know if that was a grammar mistake or if I am missing something, but it just didn’t click for me. Overall, I think this was a good example of reporting.

    Reply

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