Kessler, Heidari Named Pac-12 Players Of The Week
Nov. 18, 2013
USC quarterback Cody Kessler and placekicker Andre Heidari were named Pac-12 Offensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively, for their performances in the Trojans' home victory over No. 5 Stanford last Saturday.
Additionally, USC earned the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week as selected by the Football Writers Association of America. It is the fourth time that the Trojans have been so honored since the FWAA began naming teams of the week in 2002 (the other USC honors occurred in 2003, 2005 and 2008).
Kessler was 25-of-37 (67.6%), a season best for completions and attempts, for 288 yards with a short TD toss against the Cardinal. After missing his second pass of the game, he connected on his next 10. He now has completed 74.7% of his passes in the past 3 games. On the year, he is 178-of-275 for 2,265 yards with 13 TDs and 6 interceptions.
Heidari hit a game-winning 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds to play in the 20-17 victory over Stanford. It was USC's first game-winning last second field goal since David Bell did so at UCLA in 2000¬. Heidari also hit a 23-yarder in the second quarter. He kicked off 5 times, with a touchback and another pinning the Cardinal within the 20-yard line. The game winner was a bit of redemption for Heidari, who has struggled this season (13-of-20 field goals, 35-of-38 PATs), including missing a field goal and PAT last week at California and a PAT on USC's opening TD against Stanford in the first quarter. He was just 2-of-7 on 40-yard plus field goals this year before his game winner. In his career, he has 38 field goals.
The revitalized Trojans have won five of six games under interim coach Ed Orgeron. Kessler led USC to scores on its first three drives and an early 17-7 lead, but the Trojans didn't score again until Heidari's game-winning kick. That left the game in hands of USC's defense, which came up with two fourth-quarter interceptions and held Stanford to a season-low 17 points. Su'a Cravens' interception on a tipped pass at the USC 44-yard line with three minutes left provided the field position for USC's winning drive.
USC's win snapped a four-game losing streak to Stanford, the longest skid for the Trojans in the 92-game series.