USC Morning Buzz: Quarterback Edition

Is it realistic to expect redshirt freshmen Max Browne to challenge Cody Kessler for the starting quarterback spot after Kessler’s started an entire season?

Even with a new coach and new offense, Kessler’s got a huge advantage in experience. And would Steve Sarkisian have the courage to go with Browne next season even though Kessler’s established himself and been through the rigors of a season.

And let’s not forget Max Wittek in all of this. Quarterback is the position Sarkisian knows best but it will not be easy making a decision next season.

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  • realtrojan

    The answer to your question is an absolute no. There’s no way Sarkisian will bench Kessler and start Browne in the next season, unless Kessler gets an season-ending injury during practice. which might open the door for Wittek, even though it’s highly unlikely. I’m not exactly in love with Kessler as USC QB, but you just can’t deny his real game experience until he falters big time.

    • ThaiMex

      Typical Torgan rah rah….talking out both sides of the mouth!
      fitUn!

      • realtrojan

        Typical bRuin that that’s deeply dipped in dire straits of inferiority complex…grrrrrr…PTUI!!!

        Keep pFucing!!!

      • 1ThaiMexCleansMyToilets1

        Thanks Wolf.

      • Jethro G Sabbath

        3AM, Really?

        • TrojanFan3.0

          Exactly! What the fuc is wrong with that guy. The obsession is keeping him up all night. …must suck to be him

        • FIGHTONtoVICTORY

          That’s about the time he takes his “lunch break” from cleaning the toilets.

          • TrojanFan3.0

            LOL!….good one, but true!

      • TrojanFan3.0

        YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP!

    • Booyakasha

      He wasn’t that good this year. He missed a lot of reads and he wasn’t as mobile as advertised. The longest leash in Sark’s stint will be year 1. So it might make sense for him to pick Browne, get the growing pains done with next year, and look to have a 1st round QB year 2 onwards. All depends on the kind of upside Browne shows in practice.

      • realtrojan

        Truth be told, I personally would love to see Browne start the next season in order for the program to have a fresh new start. But how could Sark bench Kessler, who had his personal best game in Las Vegas Bowl, the final game of the season? I think it’s logically impossible, don’t you?

        • gotroy22

          Doesn’t Browne need to bulk up so he can take a hit?

          • realtrojan

            Yes, that’ll definitely help, even though he might surprise a lot of people in actual competition setting. I see in this guy the similar intensity as I saw in Matt Leinart, and we all know how things worked out for him. lol.

        • Booyakasha

          Not really impossible I think. Kessler stunk it up in the ND and UCLA games. The Fresno state defense was pretty bad. Kessler never brought us back in the games in which we were trailing. It’s been so long since we’ve had a comeback win. If Browne is close to Kessler’s level of play in practices, I say give him the job. He’s our hyped recruit. Lets see if he can win an NC or a Rose Bowl for us.

          • realtrojan

            Well said and a very good observation. I’m in agreement with what you said, but my guess we’ll see Kessler as the starter until he falters mainly because he’s ended the season on a winning note. We’ll how things will unfold in several months, won’t we?

      • TrojanFan3.0

        Until Browne gets in real game situations we have no idea what his potential is. Be careful what you wish for! Game experience is golden and can’t be taught on practice. Kessler is a proven asset

        • Booyakasha

          That’s exactly what they said when Belichick replaced Bledsoe with Brady. We will never know how good Browne can be if we don’t put him on the field. Freshmen and RS Freshmen QB’s are winning games by the dozen in college football. I just don’t see us winning an NC with Kessler. It’s tough to be a top 4 seed if we don’t have 4th Q comebacks.
          Anyway whoever Sark chooses, I hope he does by the first week of Fall camp. Can’t have the uncertainty linger for too long.

          • TrojanFan3.0

            Expect Sark to be very cautious his first season!

          • biso76

            Another issue I have noticed with Kessler is that he locks onto his receiver early and watches him through the entire route. I am shocked he didn’t throw more INTs this season But we will soon see who hets a go. If Sark’s offense is entirely different, maybe it’s truly open. But with Helton as OC and Kessler being someone Sark wanted, seems he is the likely guy.

    • Goatboy Kiffin

      Brown left his hometown because he didn’t want to play for Suckisian … guess what LOL

      • TrojanFan3.0

        Pure speculation on your part, nice try!

        You need a new username, did you get the memo, Kiffin got fired!

    • Ben Factor

      Thanks to you and Booyakasha for a somewhat realistic discussion.

      Kessler played, and he did get better. He faltered when he HAD to make plays. I don’t think he’s big-time, and I doubt he will be.

      Browne? If he looks better in practice, play him. Then, as you say, we’ll find out.

      Wittek? He’d have to show new consistency.

      There is very little to protect next year. Get better. Play the guy who can rise highest.

  • realtrojan

    With that said, though, I really do like the potential this kid Browne presents for the near future of the program. I have the feeling he’s going to be a good one for us. Mark my words on that one.

    • TrojanFan3.0

      Kessler should be the starter, he’s earned it by this actions on the field. but Browne needs to get some quality minutes next season. As far as Wittek goes, he’s already looking at other schools. I talked to him after the bowl game and he was one unhappy camper

      • FightON

        Why is Wittek unhappy? He has been inaccurate since high school. Plus, he doesn’t seem to have a personality conducive to leadership. Kiffin gave Wittek every opportunity to succeed – he wanted Wittek to win the job.

        Will a big school even take Wittek? He’s probably going to have to go to a smaller school like Corp if he wants to be a starter. And even then his GT performance was atrocious.

        • TrojanFan3.0

          Lack of playing time and no light at the end of the tunnel! Plus, your opinion of him is spot-on!

  • Wayne Lusvardi

    Shifting to a spread offense is one thing; a no huddle offense is another. The first can succeed; the second will likely fail miserably until USC has a full roster. The spread is used a lot in high school football with teams that have a few very talented players that can win games with big plays. It can work at the college level as well. But a no huddle offense for a USC team decimated by loss of scholarships and injuries is a very, very unwise and risky decision. The way UCLA and other teams beat USC is to play a game of attrition: beat them up early, wear them down, keep waves of fresh players attacking them. If I were Sarkisian I would “start where the players are, not where they aint.” USC won 10 games with think ranks and massive injuries by a smart coach who used unity, family, and delegation to build morale (not Sarkisian’s strong suit). USC won by playing aggressive man-to-man defense (no zone) and keeping close games within reach of winning by a field goal. They could have won two more games if the field goal kicker was on his game. Sarkisian is likely to lose games with a no huddle offense by tiring his own troops in tight games. Any new coach at USC isn’t going to win by dogmatically installing a clone of Oregon’s jet offense or Stanford’s smash mouth offense or any other X and O strategy. How did Hannibal beat the Roman army phalanx formations? With elephants! Think Stanford. How did the Parthians beat the Roman formations? With galloping horsemen! Think Oregon. USC can’t even field a scout team. How can USC pull off a flank attack without a second battalion? Once again: start where the team is, not where they aren’t.

    • rusoviet

      Lot of good insight here – remember though Scipio Africanus sailed across the Med and attacked Carthage – drew Hannibal back and smashed him at the Battle of Zama as for the Parthians their best tactic was shooting while retreating – I’d say both examples show an ability to ‘reform’ and come from an ‘unexpected’ undefended angle kind of like the ‘spread offense’ – it is both very fast and very nimble.

      • Wayne Lusvardi

        If I was Sarkisian I would be focusing on my field goal kicker and recruiting a bunch more walk-ons than I would QB. The new high school QB recruit is a project who will need to redshirt. USC won under Pete Carroll with defense first, same as this past year. Running a track meet every game and hoping you have the ball for the last series so you can win isn’t much of a strategy. Mind you, football has changed and SC needs to move to a spread to take advantage of its superior athletic players. But right now a no huddle offense is a very risky gamble for a team with 45 scholarship players at some times available. They are going to bring in 19 recruits, about 9 or 10 redshirts and medical redshirts that will help. The no huddle system may work against weaker teams but we will see if it works against Stanford (Hannibal), Oregon (Parthians), Arizona State (the Huns), or Notre Dame (the Vandals). My point is that it is better to be flexible and mold your style of play to the talent and number of players you have than to just embrace a fast style of play that will just fatigue players in the fourth quarter. Is Sarkisian going to get the linemen to reduce weight to play a no huddle offense? I wish him the best but I will take a wait and see attitude.

    • realtrojan

      I hope you’re wrong in this case, because I don’t think Sark will change his philosophy about no-huddle offense now. Let’s hope all those walk-ons will perform out of their consciousness next season. lol.

    • TrojanFan3.0

      It’s called conditioning and rotating players! You’re over thinking it, but thanks for the insight!

      • Jack B

        Good take. Play whoever we’ve got. But play ‘em fast. Let the chips fall.

        • TrojanFan3.0

          Exactly!….Experience is building the foundation for a stronger tomorrow

      • Wayne Lusvardi

        Yes, but SC had only two running backs left at the end of the season. With a no huddle offense are you going to ask they each have 20 to 30 carries a game? Look, no huddle might work. But if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. What got SC ten wins and nearly 12 wins was not a no huddle offense or even a spread formation. I wouldn’t tinker with success just to tinker. This isn’t a losing team that needs radical surgery. And it is weird in any organization to do a clean sweep of management when they were wildly successful. It’s like “Ok you earned 50% profit margins, so we can do better and you’re fired!” Every coach has their cronies and their club of sycophants. I trust 50 year old coaches over 30 and 40 year old coaches.

      • Wayne Lusvardi

        Look, I’m a veteran of a war where the commanders strategized with clip boards from helicopters while grunts on the ground had to carry out the orders. The “on high” strategies didn’t work on the ground. Usually the First Sergeant had to make the decisions to bail out the officers. Oregeron was a First Sergeant. I’m not a Sarkisian basher. But he has to get on the ground with his troops and assess the situation. You can’t run fast into a trap or a mine field. Fast flanking actions have won wars. So has “hitting them where they ain’t” (Gen. Douglas McArthur). Which works best with the forces and logistical resupply you have at hand? You have to close to the ground to know the answer.

  • steveg

    I can’t say I am a big fan of any of the current QB’s. I am sure Kessler at least has a huge advantage, Browne will really need to show something special to replace him, and Wittek will most likely transfer to get some PT.

    I can see us running some open spread stuff but not exclusively.

  • https://www.facebook.com/charles.bucket.3 Charlie Bucket

    Maxie, why the long face?

    • TrojanFan3.0

      He took one look at you!

  • Goatboy Kiffin

    Suckisian is a qb killer … these guys will be underachieving headcases under Suckisian.

  • Isaiahdolan

    I wonder why this is a question when you have a returning QB who has a completion rate of 70+% and very good leadership qualities?

    • Larry Harris

      “I wonder why this is a question when you have a returning QB who has a completion rate of 70+%”

      70+%?? The best that Barkley could do was 69% in his Junior year. Kessler got no higher than 65%.
      Oh, I see what you are doing…you sly rascal. You are counting completions to the opponent (7). Opps, even that dog won’t fetch. 67% is tops.
      You obviously have no shot at replacing our current SID…(the one with the pencil behind his ear). Flounder On!

      • Isaiahdolan

        Oh my, I was a bit off – not that it matters to an astute judge of talent like you, Mr. Harris. Here’s another’s opinion:Trevor Wong: Cody Kessler. He had a TD/INT ratio of 6/4 and completed just 66/104 passes in five games under Lane Kiffin. Keep in mind this was while splitting some duties with Max Wittek. But after Kiffin’s dismissal from the team, the redshirt sophomore signal caller really improved. Kessler had a TD/INT ratio of 14/3 and completed 170/257 passes – a 66.1 percent completion rate. He also threw for 200 passing yards or more in six of the final nine games, including a stretch of four straight. As such, USC finished with their second 10-win season over the last three years, and Kessler was a key reason why.

        • Larry Harris

          Are 26 non-completions that hit the dirt being a bit off? I am not futzing with your Kessler agenda. He has done many good things…just with the person who most likely had to repeat 3rd grade math.

          • Isaiahdolan

            Thank you for being so good at math. Please help me with my homework by solving this problem:

  • radioman

    Scott it’s “will it” not “it will” on your last sentence. Hire a proofreader.

    • Helen

      Scottie changed the entire message of his post by blowing that last sentence.

      Hire a proofreader. = Get in a new profession.

      • TrojanFan3.0

        The guy was sleep deprived. He was up all night trolling his blog under one of his misfit usernames

  • NotAFanOfYou

    “Quarterback is the position Sarkisian knows best but it will be easy making a decision next season.” If it will be easy then why you asking all these questions WolfPutz. Your writing skills are amateur.

  • https://www.facebook.com/charles.bucket.3 Charlie Bucket

    less than one day after the wolfman’s STELLAR performance in his live chat and the Negative Nellies start in with faux grammar checks and jibber jabber!!!

    wolfman, you SAW the overwhelmingly POSITIVE response to your Live Chat yesterday from the REAL readers!!! not the emotionally disturbed Dummies that show up every morning trying to outdo each other with penis fantasies and scatological dumb-isms!!!!

    • TrojanFan3.0

      Stroking your own ego again, beyond pathetic!

      PS….still have the man crush for Barkley, nice!

    • Helen

      Maybe you should go back to your “Cruising with Pride” friends and leave football to the big boys.

      • https://www.facebook.com/charles.bucket.3 Charlie Bucket

        Helen do you consider yourself a “big boy”??

        • TrojanFan3.0

          Leave Helen alone, you coward!

  • Helen

    Old news.

    • FightON

      Scott took this directly out of the live chat yesterday.

  • Helen

    Old video.

  • Helen

    Same old Scottie.

    • https://www.facebook.com/charles.bucket.3 Charlie Bucket

      still trying to “fit In” eh, honey?

      • TrojanFan3.0

        What’s your excuse?

      • TrojanFamily

        Wow you just got your butt kicked by a girl. Maybe you can regain your manhood by kicking someone in the crotch.

        • https://www.facebook.com/charles.bucket.3 Charlie Bucket

          i got those broads all lathered up, huh??

          • TrojanFamily

            English please

    • https://www.facebook.com/charles.bucket.3 Charlie Bucket

      Helen, sounds like you have a boyfriend! see how T-Fail jumps in to defend you??

      i think this is a match made in…well lets just say you two are the perfect match!!

      but if you want to fit in as “one of the big boys” you will have to learn to defend yourself!!

      • FightON

        If defending yourself is a requirement to being with the “big boys,” then you surely do not qualify. You cry in a corner every single time I crotch kick you – which is whenever I please.

        Here’s a great idea: your first name should start with a “C” and rhyme with “slum” because it suits you better.

        Now, lube up, little boy. There are some cruisers waiting to hog tie you. (Oh, MOAR posts today, okay? Thanks, Scott!)

        • https://www.facebook.com/charles.bucket.3 Charlie Bucket

          FitUn’s email to Helen: “lez be friends!”

  • Jack B

    I’m thinking Kessler’s the man. Just an average QB now. Hopefully Sark can school him up. If not, Browne is the option. I don’t think QB will be a weakness at USC next season, but Wittek is definitely toast I think. If he wants to really play, it’s probably best for him to transfer.

    • Ben Factor

      How do you school up a player who can only throw with touch, doesn’t compensate with dead-on accuracy beyond 20-25 yards, too often throws it late, and once he gets knocked around, can’t hit targets on plays when he isn’t rushed that hard?

      Whenever the game fell on his shoulders, it was a problem. Oh, I know, he had one good second-half series vs. Stanford. But a lot more possessions than that fell on him.

      Can that guy improve to “really good?” I question that.

      Are you really optimistic about next year’s team, given the departures and roster size? If not, and if Browne has a much higher ceiling, isn’t it time?

      For me, the only question is whether Browne really has a much higher ceiling? I don’t know enough to say, but many thought so at one time.

  • Arturo

    Sarkisian knows that competition will win games- he learned that from Carroll. He also knows that being physical and competing go hand and hand (like Stanford). Next year there will be some growing pains -possibly- but it will pay dividends eventually. Kiffin had a good one or two year plan but couldn’t overcome himself or the sanctions. I think Sark will do better in part because he won’t have to deal with sanctions for an extended period. Go SC.

  • Ben Factor

    I’m really surprised that so many commenters are lukewarm on Kessler, yet think that Sark would be courageous (foolish?) not to start Kessler, because he has experience.

    What is the reasoning here?

    Sark runs a simpler offense, relying a lot on QB instinct. If Kessler will excel most at that, then he’s the natural starter. Otherwise, please explain.

    We just saw consecutive first-year QBs win the Heisman. Experience? Sure, if it comes with excellence.

    Consider:

    I don’t know what Browne really has, but a lot of people saw big potential in him before USC. Were they mistaken?

    I don’t know whether Wittek can acquire the ability to throw with consistent accuracy, and not take excessive risks. But if he could, he’d be a force.

    Early departures have not gone especially well. Usually, a new staff and system take time to gel. So far, USC isn’t bringing in elite recruits in 2014 (a top 25 class? what happened to top 5?). Bottom line: next year could be tough. Play the guy with more upside, whoever he is.

  • tim chaney

    all that being said, the commitment of jalen greene speaks volumes to the future of the position of qb at usc.. I think sark will be looking for a playmaker at the position like a manziel or Winston, no more straight pocket passers. in the future offense, both passing touch and mobility will be required.