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USC reportedly to start Kessler at QB vs. Washington State

Eugene Tanner/Associated Press
Cody Kessler is expected to start at quarterback this weekend against Washington State.

USC head coach Lane Kiffin's attempts to keep the identity of his starting quarterback a secret barely lasted a day, as Cody Kessler will start the Trojans' Pac-12 opener, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

Kessler, a redshirt sophomore, started the season opener at Hawaii and completed 10 of 19 passes for 95 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Kessler was also sacked in the end zone for a safety.

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Kessler played the entire first half and the first series coming out of the locker room after the break. Max Wittek then played the rest of the second half, throwing for 77 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Kiffin said Sunday he knew who his starter would be against Washington State, but would not reveal the pick until kickoff.

"I'm not going to get into, 'This guy that, and that guy this,'" Kiffin told the Los Angeles Times. Kiffin's stated aim was to avoid opportunities "for people outside the building to tear these guys apart."

Instead, the criticism has been aimed squarely at Kiffin for the way he has handled his quarterbacks, so at least that part of the plan has been a success.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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