The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Wittek has played in six games this season, including the final minutes against UCLA. The former Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei High standout has completed eight of nine passes for 95 yards, including a touchdown against Colorado.
“We have great confidence in Max,” Kiffin said. “I thought he did well (against UCLA) in a very difficult situation … standing around in the rain and to go into that game is not easy to do.”
Kiffin said the Trojans would not drastically alter their approach with Wittek starting.
“Matt and Max are very similar physically, so I think that we would pretty much stick within our system,” Kiffin said.
Redshirt freshman Cody Kessler will be the No. 2 quarterback against Notre Dame.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said earlier Sunday that there would be no change in approach in preparation for USC because the Trojans feature receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods and running backs Curtis McNeal and Silas Redd.
“We're going to have to defend all of those players, not just one,” Kelly said in a teleconference with reporters before Barkley's status was announced. “Certainly if Barkley is playing, which we'll prepare for him like he is playing, the offense is still going to be about getting the ball to their playmakers.
“So it really won't change much in terms of what we do.“
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