Originally posted on Fox Sports West
By RAHSHAUN HAYLOCK  |  Last updated 8/23/13
It's been a while but it's certainly not uncommon. Remember Aaron Corp vs. Mitch Mustain vs Matt Barkley? How about Matt Leinart vs. Matt Cassel? The 2013 season brings us the quarterback battle of Cody Kessler vs. Max Wittek. And what a matchup it's turned out to be. The redshirt sophomores have gone down to the wire and are about six days away from heading into overtime. USC had coach Lane Kiffin would love to have the situation resolved before the Trojans take the field at Hawaii on Aug. 29 but hasn't ruled out playing both QBs. If you're trying to put into words what Matt Barkley meant to USC, look no further than his nickname -- "Matty Trojan." He was a four-year starter, a three-year captain, and in the program's most trying time he became its face, endearing himself to USC fans forever. Huge shoes fill. Either Kessler or Wittek, once named the starter, will likely hold that position for the next 2-3 seasons, finishing off what Barkley started and seeing the program through the remainder of NCAA sanctions. The starter also have the chance to turn the initial page and help fans immediately get over the 7-6 season of a year ago. So, who's it gonna be? Kiffin says he's comfortable with either. "We're very excited about both guys,"the head coach said. "Both guys can go in and run our offense really well and win a bunch of games for us." Kessler thinks he's done enough to earn the nod. Wittek feels the same about himself. Importance of KesslerWittek Decision making is obviously a huge deal but leadership and command could go a lot further. As much as Barkley was revered by the USC faithful his ability to connect and lead his teammates towards the end of his career suffered. There will be adversity and having a leader at quarterback with the ability to pick teammates up when they're down or rally the team late in a close game could be the difference in a mediocre season or a 10 or more win campaign. Number of note: 1-1-09 As in Jan. 1, 2009 was the last time USC won a game with a starting quarterback not named Matt Barkley. In the Barkley era, USC went 0-4 in games he didn't start including the final two games of the 2012 season in which Wittek got the nod. 2012 recap In two starts last season, Wittek completed 28-of-60 for 293 yards, two touchdowns, and five interceptions. Kessler attempted just two passes, completing both for nine yards in 2012. The USC quarterbacks combined to throw 20 interceptions. Quoteables "We're not dumb, we know we're competing,"Kessler said. "I think I've put my resume on tape throughout the course of camp,"Wittek said. 2013 outlook In Kessler, you have a quarterback that's more mobile than his counterpart. His deep-ball accuracy has been a knock on him but he has the improvisational skills to turn nothing into something. Wittek, on the other hand, looks the part. His measurables stack up with the type of quarterbacks you see on Sundays -- 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and a rocket for an arm. His touch on short to intermediate throws, however, has been a knock on him. Teammates seem to rally around Kessler who brings an enthusiasm to the field every day. Wittek has a more workmanlike approach. Whoever is under center is not going be called on to go and win games for USC. They'll be surrounded by a talented cast of characters. The most important is the running game. If it's as effective as Kiffin hopes it's going to be, it will beneficial in taking the pressure off of the young QB, whichever one gets the starting nod.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Lakers would fire Byron Scott to hire Luke Walton

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Report: Luke Walton will not consider coaching offers until offseason

Budweiser: Peyton Manning not paid for Super Bowl beer plug

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Archie Manning: 'I think Peyton's done in Denver'

Donald Trump: I told Tom Brady not to endorse me for President

Marshawn Lynch: Complicated and talented NFL anti-hero

Hue Jackson lets Manziel and ex know they aren’t alone

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

Tyronn Lue faces backlash for Cavs record since Blatt’s firing

Candidates for New York Knicks head coaching job

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

Top defensive performances in Super Bowl history

FBI questions Jeremy Shockey about drug and gambling ring

Coldplay drummer thought Johnny Football was real name

Ranking every game from 2015 NFL Playoffs

PHOTO: Panthers LB shows gruesome arm injury after SB

College Football 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 Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

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