Cody Kessler, who led USC to 10 victories last season, was named the Trojans' starting quarterback, Coach Steve Sarkisian announced Tuesday.

Kessler, a fourth-year junior from Bakersfield, held off a challenge from redshirt freshman Max Browne.

Kessler passed for 20 touchdowns, with seven interceptions, last season. He finished the season with four touchdown passes in the Trojans’ 45-20 victory over Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl.