Originally posted on Fox Sports West
By RAHSHAUN HAYLOCK  |  Last updated 9/11/13
LOS ANGELES -- Cody Kessler left Lane Kiffin's office on Sunday with a new sense of independence. A new found freedom. "It felt like he gave me the keys to the car," Kessler said. "(Kiffin) gave me the starting spot and said it's yours." Kessler learned Sunday following USCs 10-7 loss to Washington State the he'd beaten out fellow redshirt sophomore Max Wittek to be the team's starting quarterback. Through two games, Kessler has completed 18-of-32 passes for 136 yards, with a touchdown, a rushing score, and two interceptions. He's started the Trojans previous two games but the concept of winning was one that was lost in the quarterback competition. "It was tough to focus on a game (and) to win a game when you're still thinking you're competing for a spot," Kessler said. "I think I've been trying to be too perfect in a way and trying win the job more than win the game." He couldn't be himself, everything was calculated. He was less sure of himself during the team's first two games. The player who spent all of spring, summer, and fall camp proving that he was capable of leading the Trojans in 2013 was lost. "(You) can't mess up or you're not going to get the spot," he thought to himself. "You got to make this play or you're not going to get the job. "I was just beating myself up thinking about that." With that cloud now lifted, Kessler can focus on trying to lead the team to wins instead of winning his own competition battle. Since he named Kessler the starting quarterback, Kiffin says he's already seen a change in his newly anointed signal caller. He says he's more confident and less hesitant to make throws, something that clearly showed up on film from the first two weeks of the season. Kessler calls it a relief. He's ecstatic about the opportunity to show what he can do as the man. Upon finding out the news that he'd won the starting job, the first message Kessler sent was to his father, Don. In a text message, Kessler wrote: "It's go time."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Biggest winners and losers from NFL Week 7

John Wall warns Lonzo Ball about having target on his back

Eric Bledsoe raises suspicion with tweet

Browns select empty seat to win prize

Hue Jackson critical after DeShone Kizer stayed out late Friday

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Carson Palmer to miss eight weeks with broken arm

Mitchell Trubisky leads Bears to win despite completing just four passes

Red Sox confirm Alex Cora as new manager

Joe Thomas misses his first career snap after injuring arm

Dolphins fans cheer after Jay Cutler leaves with injury

Browns bench DeShone Kizer again, bring in Cody Kessler

MLS Decision Day: East to be a rumble while West up for grabs

Most prominent sports bans on the 5th anniversary of the Lance Armstrong ban

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Trojans News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

MLS Decision Day: East to be a rumble while West up for grabs

Most prominent sports bans on the 5th anniversary of the Lance Armstrong ban

Houston Astros hold off Yankees, forcing Game 7

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker