The USC Trojans will be led by redshirt junior quarterback Max Brown in 2016 after he beat out redshirt freshman Sam Darnold for the job.
USC head coach Clay Helton informed the team of his decision, which he called “one of the toughest decisions in my college coaching career,” on Saturday afternoon, per Zach Helfand of the Los Angeles Times.
“At this point, we feel that it is in the best interest of our football team to lean on the veteran experience that Max Browne has,” Helton said.
After sitting behind Cody Kessler the past three years, Browne will finally get his chance to lead the Trojans. He’s attempted just 19 passes in his college football career, completing 11 of them for a total of 143 yards with no interceptions and no touchdowns, either.
It hasn’t been a terrific summer for Browne, who likely won’t have a particularly long leash. He threw more interceptions than Darnold did this summer but earned the job thanks to his “mastery of the offense, a willingness to attack on longer passes and calm, smooth performance in up-tempo drills,” writes Helfand.
With Alabama looming in Week 1, Browne needs to sharpen up his skill set or suffer an early humiliation. Thankfully the Trojans feature one of the most dangerous playmakers in the nation in receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has the ability to dominate even the best defensive backs in the nation.