USC QBs Kessler, Wittek expected to play Saturday

Published Sep. 3, 2013 8:45 p.m. ET

LOS ANGELES -- It's quickly become one of Los Angeles' most talked about topics.

Right after anything related to that Yasiel Puig guy roaming the outfield for the Dodgers, it's who's going to be the starting quarterback for No. 25 USC?

Team Kessler?

Team Wittek?

The candidates hear the questions too. Cody Kessler has been inundated this week with questions pertaining to who the starter will be.

"My phone's been blowing up," Kessler said. "I just tell them the same thing: 'I'm excited for the opportunity,'"

Also, USC wide receiver Marqise Lee was asked on campus.

"I don't know," he answered.

Last week in the win at Hawaii, both played. And on Sunday, head coach Lane Kiffin announced he knew who his starting QB would be. He also said everyone else would have to wait until Saturday to find out that decision.  

By Tuesday, it appears more and more likely Saturday won't be much different than last Thursday in Hawaii for the quarterbacks as it relates to playing time. Both are expected to play which means limited reps in a game situation which provides less margin for error.

"I think it pushes you more to know you're only going to have this many snaps to make a statement and state your case," Kessler said. "Personally, I take it as you have to make the most of your opportunities. You have to make the most of your reps.

"If you let those opportunities go you're going to be beating yourself up just knowing that you let them go and you can't get them back."

Added Wittek: "It is smaller amount of opportunity to shine but really, I think we're both trained, we both go through the same preparation all week and I think we're both going to be ready for this game and take advantage of the opportunities that come our way."

If both indeed "take advantage" of those opportunities on Saturday, this version of quarterback shuffle could extend another week.

Kiffin said the starter will get the majority of the first team reps this week in practice. But, how the reps were split up may not provide a clear picture.

"Yesterday it was actually Cody and today it was actually Max Wittek (with the most reps)," Lee said. "It's tough huh? 50-50."

Go figure.