Lane Kiffin will continue to call plays

CULVER CITY, Calif. -- After months of speculation, USC coach Lane Kiffin confirmed at Pac-12 media day that he will continue calling offensive plays for the Trojans in 2013.

"We have a great offensive staff who will have a lot of input in the game plan," Kiffin said. "After doing a lot of evaluating, I think it's in the best interest of our program for me to continue calling plays."

The issue of play calling has been one of the hottest topics of discussion among USC fans after the Trojans stumbled to a 7-6 season in 2012. Despite a star-studded offense featuring Matt Barkley, Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, the Trojans were sixth in the Pac-12 in points per game.

There was talk Kiffin would turn over play-calling duties to quarterbacks coach Clay Helton, allowing Kiffin to focus more on the overall duties of being a head coach.

Kiffin built his reputation as an offensive coordinator and playcaller for some of the successful USC teams under Pete Carroll, and he continued calling plays during his previous head-coaching stints with the Oakland Raiders and the Tennessee Volunteers.

The Trojans, who open fall camp Aug. 3, will be breaking in a new quarterback in 2013 after the departure of Barkley, a four-year starter.

There will be three quarterbacks competing for the starting spot in fall camp -- Cody Kessler, Max Wittek and Max Browne -- but whoever gets the job will be surrounded by a deep running back group, a receiver unit headlined by Lee (the 2012 Biletnikoff award winner), a pair of talented tight ends and an experienced offensive line.