Kessler gets first start at QB for No. 24 USC

Published Aug. 29, 2013 7:05 p.m. ET

HONOLULU (AP) -- Cody Kessler started at quarterback for No. 24 Southern California in its opener against Hawaii with mixed results Thursday night.

Kessler played the entire first half and the first drive of the second, completing 10 of 19 passes for 95 yards, with an interception and a touchdown pass. Max Wittek entered the game early in the third quarter. USC won 30-13.

Wittek failed to earn a first down on his first drive then spent most of the second half handing off to running back Justin Davis. He completed 5 of 10 passes for 77 yards.

Coach Lane Kiffin had been coy about who would start, but said both would have an opportunity to prove against the Rainbow Warriors that they deserve the starting role.

Despite Wittek's strong arm and experience with two starts last season, Kessler showed himself to be more mobile and resourceful during the team's preseason.