Not many young quarterbacks would even have the audacity to imagine making their first career starts under the circumstances surrounding Max Wittek on Saturday.
The freshman is replacing Matt Barkley, an injured senior who has claimed most of the career passing records at Southern California. He's facing Notre Dame (11-0), a storied football power with a No. 1 ranking and the nation's most feared defense.
The Irish need just one more win to book a spot in the national title game, and the struggling Trojans (7-4) have lost three of four. Yet Wittek also has arguably the best receiving duo in the nation catching his passes and a sold-out Coliseum firmly at his back.
If the enormity of this occasion is scaring Wittek, he hasn't shown it a bit.