Cody Kessler threw for a career high 394 yards and tied a personal best with four touchdown passes as USC dumped Fresno State 52-13 in the season opener. He also ran for in the first score of the game from the one-yard line.
The performance earned Kessler Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) September 1, 2014
He only needed three quarters to get it done, and already had a solid stat line after just one.
The performance cleared up any early doubts that Kessler would struggle picking up new head coach Steve Sarkisian‘s hurry-up offense. He spread 25 passes to eight different receivers and was never sacked.
It’s a shame Kessler can’t play Fresno State every week. The first time he tossed four touchdowns came in the Trojans last game, against the same Bulldogs in the Las Vegas Bowl. Rather, he’ll have to follow up this week’s performance with another standout effort as USC travels to Stanford Stadium in Week 2. Kessler’s only other POTW honors came last year in USC’s upset of the Cardinal.
All-American Leonard Williams was on the shortlist of nominees for Defensive Player of the Week, but lost out to UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks. Williams totaled seven tackles, broke up two passes at the line of scrimmage and picked off a third.