Lane Kiffin Silent on USC Starting QB, Hopes Silas Redd Will Return This Week

Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2013

USC coach Lane Kiffin knows who will start under center against Washington State on Saturday and hopes he knows who will line up in the backfield behind him.

But he's keeping quiet on the former, and he still can't properly confirm the latter.

According to Chris Huston of College Football Talk, Kiffin has finally decided on a starting quarterback between Cody Kessler and Max Wittek, both of whom played (unevenly) against Hawaii in Week 1.

He isn't ready to go public with it, though, saying in a conference call that people "will see on Saturday" who gets the start.

Kessler got the nod in Honolulu last Thursday, playing the entire first half but leading the Trojans to just 13 points (and taking a safety) on eight offensive possessions. Huston projects Wittek to be named the starter, but many folks in Southern California would disagree.

On a brighter note, Huston's College Football Talk colleague, John Taylor, reports that running back Silas Redd might be ready to play in Week 2. Per his report:

A lingering knee injury forced Silas Redd to miss the season opener against Hawaii, leading to the back visiting world-renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews.  Following a medical procedure on the knee — the specific nature of it wasn’t revealed — Redd is back in Los Angeles and, head coach Lane Kiffin hopes, back on the field this week.

Kiffin said “they felt positive” as to how the procedure went. “I hope this week,” Kiffin said when asked about Redd’s return.

Redd, the Penn State transfer, led USC with 905 rushing yards last season. With Matt Barkley and Robert Woods having both departed to the NFL, he is being counted on to shoulder an even bigger load in 2013, knee injury and all.

The Trojans running game was good but not great against Hawaii, finishing with 195 yards on 45 carries. But the tailbacks were less at fault than the offensive line, which failed to get a consistent push in the trenches.

If Redd wants to be effective upon his return—whenever that might be—he'll need to be at or near full strength. There may not be many holes to run through.