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USC's QB coming of age

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07:27 AM ET 11.21 | Former Heisman winner Matt Leinart, who authored some late-game magic during his own Trojans days, led USC out of the tunnel Saturday. [Cody Kessler went on to produce] his own fourth-down moment during USC's game-winning drive. Kessler's stirring performance in the 20-17 upset showed a young quarterback coming of age. ... His clutch play against the Cardinal spurred congratulatory text messages from Leinart, former Trojans quarterbacks Matt Barkley and Mark Sanchez, and others. All recognized a major step in Kessler's development. "I just felt like, I'm 100% in control," Kessler said. "Like, I know I can play." Kessler, who was No. 3 on the depth chart last season, has been aided by inspiring words from coaches, teammates and former players such as Rodney Peete and Heisman winner Marcus Allen.

Los Angeles Times

Cody Kessler, Icon Sports Cody Kessler, Icon Sports
November 21, 2013  08:26 AM ET

Some kids takes a little longer than others... good for him..

November 21, 2013  08:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Some kids takes a little longer than others... good for him..

True dat. Not all fruit ripens at the same time.

And if he is "coming of age" I guess that means he can legally drink now.

November 21, 2013  08:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

True dat. Not all fruit ripens at the same time.And if he is "coming of age" I guess that means he can legally drink now.

Yes legally lol

November 21, 2013  08:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

True dat. Not all fruit ripens at the same time.And if he is "coming of age" I guess that means he can legally drink now.

and date women sans the mormon soak

November 21, 2013  09:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

True dat. Not all fruit ripens at the same time.And if he is "coming of age" I guess that means he can legally drink now.

DC, it does seem like Kessler is playing with more confidence.

November 21, 2013  09:24 AM ET

Should be interesting next year at USC, IMO Kessler as an redshirt sophomore is not ready for the NFL and the Trojans have highly recruited Max Browne waiting in the wings.

November 21, 2013  09:39 AM ET

This story just underscores Lane Kiffin's incompetency.

November 21, 2013  09:43 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

This story just underscores Lane Kiffin's incompetency.

Yes it does!!!!

November 21, 2013  10:23 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Should be interesting next year at USC, IMO Kessler as an redshirt sophomore is not ready for the NFL and the Trojans have highly recruited Max Browne waiting in the wings.

It's good to see Kessler get his chance to play. He seems to be coming along well, and hopefully he continues to improve.

On another note, we have already flipped a kid who was committed to bama, and word is there are close to half a dozen 4* and 5* kids who will flip, or commit to us if Coach O is named the permanent HC. The future looks bright my friends!!!

November 21, 2013  10:38 AM ET

The student athletes like Coach O. It is a plus for the close of this season as well as recruiting (he's always been good on the trail). If Hayden retains his services as HC, it will be because he cannot reach terms with a different, targeted candidate. Likely any extension on Orgeron's services as HC will be short term and more affordable than the announced upper reaches of a compensation package.

Coach Orgeron has said that he wants to stay at USCw. He'll happily continue as HC, but is willing to stay on in another capacity. Frankly, the best case scenario for USCw would be Hayden hiring some targeted big gun coach who keeps Orgeron on staff, develops a good relationship with him, and leverages Orgeron's positives to the Trogs advantage.

November 21, 2013  11:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

The student athletes like Coach O. It is a plus for the close of this season as well as recruiting (he's always been good on the trail). If Hayden retains his services as HC, it will be because he cannot reach terms with a different, targeted candidate. Likely any extension on Orgeron's services as HC will be short term and more affordable than the announced upper reaches of a compensation package. Coach Orgeron has said that he wants to stay at USCw. He'll happily continue as HC, but is willing to stay on in another capacity. Frankly, the best case scenario for USCw would be Hayden hiring some targeted big gun coach who keeps Orgeron on staff, develops a good relationship with him, and leverages Orgeron's positives to the Trogs advantage.

Here is the problem with that Tinny. We all know the plan was to bring in a "big name" kinda coach. That of course, comes with someone with an ego, who likes to control things. Can Haden tell that coach, we love to have you here, but you HAVE to keep Coach O on in some capacity. Coach O's popularity and pull with the kids would always be an underlying factor with any new coach. I think at this point, it might create some problems for everyone.

As long as we roll the buffs, and if we play the bruins tight or beat them, he has to hire Coach O permanently. Give him a 3 year deal. If things stay well, extend him, if they don't, hire the "big name" guy and proceed from there.

My angle has always been, bringing in someone from the outside, who doesn't understand SC, might just be looking for his next big job. Someone like Coach O, is different. If things go well under him, he will stay for the long, long term. That's what I am hoping for.

Comment #12 has been removed
November 21, 2013  11:57 AM ET

Also Tinny, you can't give Coach O a short term contract. Recuits want to be assured that the coach they signed up for is going to be there for the duration of there time as a student athlete. I know that's not always the case but they are 17 and 18 year old kids and that is their thinking. What drives me crazy is that all the writers are saying " USC needs a big name coach to come in" Who is the biggest name in college football right now? Coach O is! I think bringing in anyone else would be a step down at this point and he has the intangables that make him the right fit for USC with the biggest IMO that he trusts his players no matter who they are and he trusts his assistant coaches. This to me would not be an emotional hire but if you step back and take a look, how much more does he need to prove. Do not let him get away.

November 21, 2013  12:53 PM ET

I hope Trog fans get who they want. If that's coach O, so be it.

My previous comment is spurred by Pat Hayden's indications that he's shopping for someone other than Orgeron. I read Hayden saying Orgeron is in the mix as he'll get a shot at the job if efforts to find another aren't fruitful. Sports media spins it as Hayden has to undertake an open search and Orgeron's performance during the interim elevates consideration of his candidacy.

As for Orgeron himself, he's stated that he loves being at USC and wants to stay, even in a capacity other than HC. This only reflects well upon him.

What are the chances that Orgeron will have a place on USC's staff if Hayden hires someone else to be HC? Slim? I can only think of Meyer/Fickell as precedent.

The mobentum (I know, beer) is driving the situation towards Orgeron as HC or else. That's a mistake by all involved - those who agitate for Orgeron keeping the HC job, Hayden and those who insist a proper search must be undertaken, and the media whipping the froth on this like its their last latte.

November 21, 2013  12:55 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

... Can Haden tell that coach, we love to have you here, but you HAVE to keep Coach O on in some capacity...

Jerry Jones does this all the time, and the Cowboys have been a .500 team during that 15 year span.

It won't work.

November 21, 2013  01:00 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Also Tinny, you can't give Coach O a short term contract.

Frag logic. I don't see Hayden giving Orgeron 6+ years at $6 mil per, not even within javelin distance of that - 3 yrs with an option to USCw at best, base pay of $2 mil/yr at best, and some fairly rich incentives. Orgeron proves out, and the deal can be sweetened.

If you USCw folks see it differently, well, it's your alma mater.

November 21, 2013  01:51 PM ET

He kid, stop saying "like".

November 21, 2013  02:52 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Frag logic. I don't see Hayden giving Orgeron 6+ years at $6 mil per, not even within javelin distance of that - 3 yrs with an option to USCw at best, base pay of $2 mil/yr at best, and some fairly rich incentives. Orgeron proves out, and the deal can be sweetened. If you USCw folks see it differently, well, it's your alma mater.

I say we give him a 3 year deal in the 2-3 mil per year range. If he continues to roll, then we re-up him for extra cash.

November 21, 2013  03:09 PM ET

Orgeron may be moot, now. Kiffin publicly endorsed him. When the predecessor who was fired at the airport says you should be the next coach, it's the kiss of death.

 
November 21, 2013  05:16 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

He kid, stop saying "like".

But he's like from USC. They like have a class on that don't they?

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