Cody Kessler is on course to start for the Trojans against Washington State. Kessler saw the majority of first string practice reps, Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
That's one mystery solved for the Trojans. Another is if USC is more likely to be a passing or rushing offense against the Cougars.
The Trojans struggled to pass with much consistency against Hawaii last week. Moreover, Washington State surrendered 6.4 yards per carry for nearly 300 rushing yards in its Week 1 loss at Auburn.
USC has one of the most talented wide receiving duos in college football with Heisman Trophy-caliber Marqise Lee and sensational sophomore Nelson Agholor. However, they may not come into play until Justin Davis and Tre Madden—and perhaps Silas Redd, if an Associated Press report of his return comes to fruition—establish the run.
Washington State must capitalize on opportunities, something it failed to do down the stretch in its loss at Auburn. The Cougar offensive line must also protect quarterback Connor Halliday from an aggressive Trojan pass rush out of defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast's 52 set to avoid turnovers.
Halliday was picked off three times by an Auburn defense that made two interceptions the entire season prior. Conversely, the Trojans came away with four interceptions a week ago.
USC may not be full strength yet offensively, and WSU has the talent to hang around for a few quarters. The Trojans should assert themselves in the second half en route to a double-digit-point win.
Prediction: USC 34, Washington State 21