The scene at the Coliseum on Monday night was a stark contrast to last Wednesday, when starting quarterback Cody Kessler stayed on the turf for a few moments because of an apparent ankle injury.
Kessler was fine, but the image sent redshirt freshman quarterback Max Browne into action.
“Your chinstrap’s unbuckled, and you start buckling it up,” Browne said this week. “Fortunately, he was wearing his knee brace … but you have to have the idea that you’re one play away.”
Browne was hoping to unseat Kessler as the starter last spring but Kessler’s experience and confidence after starting 14 games last season made him a clear choice.
After struggling early in training camp, Browne has been playing with more confidence as the Trojans move toward their Aug. 30 opener against Fresno State.
Browne said he would remain ready, “so if my number is called we don’t miss a beat.”