Cody Kessler started at quarterback for No. 24 Southern California in its opener against Hawaii with mixed results.
Kessler played the entire first half, completing 10 of 17 passes for 95 yards, with an interception and a touchdown pass. USC led Hawaii 20-5 at halftime.
Kessler was expected to split time with fellow sophomore Max Wittek, who is more experienced with two starts for the Trojans at the end of last season.
Coach Lane Kiffin had been coy about who would begin the game, but said both would have an opportunity to prove against the Rainbow Warriors that they deserve the starting job.
Despite Wittek's strong arm and experience, Kessler showed himself to be more mobile and resourceful during the team's preseason.