Originally posted on Fox Sports West
By RAHSHAUN HAYLOCK  |  Last updated 8/8/13
LOS ANGELES -- Cody Kessler remains fond of a lesson taught by his high school coaches: "Be constructive, not destructive." When it comes to those words, the USC redshirt sophomore quarterback walks a fine line. He's his self-proclaimed worst critic. After going through what he calls the "worst practice I've had since I've been here" on Wednesday, all of his teammates went to dinner. Kessler went to the film room. Over and over again he watched the lowlights of the three interceptions he'd thrown at Howard Jones Field just moments earlier. He was in a funk. He had to snap out of it. He skipped a meal to watch film, which could be destructive, depending on who you ask. The only way to snap out of it, in his mind, was to do exactly what he was doing: watch the film and learn from his mistakes. The next day would provide another opportunity when the Trojans took their act inside the Coliseum for their first scrimmage of the fall. There would be no waiting for Kessler on Thursday. If he could've scripted it himself, it would've gone similar to how things lined up for him on Thursday. Kessler led the first-team offense onto the field against the first-team defense on the scrimmage's first possession. The result was a 70-yard drive that ended in a Justin Davis two-yard touchdown run. "The best part about it was not that I went first, but that I went first and scored," said Kessler, who was 12-of-16 for 121 yards and a touchdown on the day. The majority of those numbers came with Kessler leading the one's. Of the six drives he guided, four of them were with the first-team offense. Head coach Lane Kiffin said it wasn't planned for Kessler to spend the majority of the time with the first team, and it'll likely flip between he and Wittek - who spent the majority of Thursday's scrimmage with the second team - the next time the Trojans head into the Coliseum for a scrimmage. Still, Kessler liked the flow he was in on Thursday. "It's awesome," Kessler said. "Right now, I definitely feel really comfortable when I'm in there with the one's. "I just feel confident in how I'm playing right now." While Kessler spent the majority of the day with the one's, Wittek was not lost in discussion on Thursday. As the quarterbacks went through their first scrimmage of the fall, it was Wittek who unleashed the play of the day. He showed off his strong arm with a 70-yard strike to Nelson Agholor for a touchdown, putting an exclamation point on a one-play drive. "It was awesome," said Wittek of the touchdown pass. "Once I saw him make that move on the corner (and) break free from him I (thought) 'Alright, here we go.' Just let it out there. Let him make the play." Wittek was 13-20 for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Max Browne, who didn't take any snaps in the first half of the scrimmage, went 7-of-11 on the day for 54 yards and led a field goal scoring drive. Kiffin would make no announcements as it pertained to any movement with the quarterbacks following the scrimmage, only saying he needed to go back and look at the film. That's something Kessler plans to do as well. Although, instead of watching himself throw the ball to the defense, he has some scoring plays he can admire from the Coliseum on Thursday. "It's cool to have those drives like that and watch those on film," Kessler said. Constructive can be watching highlights, not just lowlights.
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