USC Sports

USC quarterbacks ready to put best foot forward Saturday

The competition to replace Matt Barkley as USC’s starting quarterback will not end Saturday in the Trojans’ final spring scrimmage at the Coliseum.

But Max Wittek, Cody Kessler and Max Browne are looking forward to making lasting impressions.


Trojans Coach Lane Kiffin has not classified them in any order — “They’re all in there,” he said — and no major change is expected when Kiffin releases a depth chart Monday.

Still, the quarterbacks’ performances will enable USC fans to begin forming opinions as the Trojans head into summer.


Wittek, a third-year sophomore, started last season against Notre Dame and in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech. He made some impressive plays against the Fighting Irish but struggled in windy conditions against Georgia Tech.

Sidelined last month for a week because of a knee sprain, Wittek aims to remain efficient.

“I don’t have to go out on the last day and make a crazy splash,” he said. “The real body of work is the resume I’ve put on film” during spring workouts.

Kessler, also a third-year sophomore, has probably taken more first-team snaps this spring than in his first two seasons combined.


“The biggest thing I’ve tried to do this spring is step into a leadership role,” Kessler said.

Browne, who finished high school in Washington state in December, has displayed improving knowledge and decision-making. He is uncertain about the number of snaps he will take Saturday but hopes for an opportunity to finish strong.

“That would be big,” he said.

On Thursday, Kiffin praised the efficient play of all three quarterbacks in the first four scrimmages.


“There have really been limited turnovers in the Coliseum this spring, which is very different than, if you think about last spring, how much we were turning the ball over, especially at quarterback with our starter,” he said.

The scrimmage begins at 1 p.m. Admission is $10. The scrimmage also will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.

Twitter: @latimesklein

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