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04/25/17 - Max Browne didn't uproot himself and travel halfway across the country to spend his one season in Pittsburgh as the backup quarterback. It's why the USC graduate transfer headed from sunny Los Angeles to wintry Pittsburgh in January, eager to get a jump start on his last best shot at reviving a career that never bloomed with the Trojans. Three months into his new gig, plenty of work remains to be done. Browne salvaged an admittedly "bleh" afternoon with a late scoring drive during Pitt's spring game on Saturday. His late 27-yard touchdown pass to Tre Tipton was hardly a thing of beauty - it sailed over the wrong shoulder and forced Tipton to make a diving, twisting grab in the end zone. Still, Tipton caught it. Hey, it's a start. "That's a big time drive, that's the explosion you like to see," Browne said.
Browne just would have liked to see a little bit more of it. He finished 13 of 28 for 144 yards and the one score during an afternoon in which he was simultaneously the old guy and the new guy. Spring drills began with Browne making what he called "rookie" mistakes, particularly when it came to going through the pre-snap sequence. Yet over the course of 15 practices he felt he built momentum heading into camp. "I got that (pre-snap) part down and was just playing good ball after that, which is huge and why I came in here," Browne said. In a way, Browne is on level footing with sophomore Ben DiNucci, redshirt freshman Thomas MacVittie and true freshman Kenny Pickett, all of whom are trying to learn first-year offensive coordinator Shawn Watson's system on the fly. - AP Sports
01/06/17 - Max Browne spent four years at Southern California constantly competing for the starting quarterback job, with mixed results at best. The big-armed 21-year-old will get one last shot 2,500 miles away. Sure, it's not quite the way Browne expected his college career to go. Yet standing inside the Pittsburgh complex on Friday wearing a blue polo shirt - a decided departure from USC's cardinal and gold - Browne was hardly complaining. He'll spend the next year working on his master's degree in customer insights and trying to win with coach Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers. There are worse fates. A lot worse. "I know I can play at a high level," Browne said. "I know if I can do and do that here, I'll be just fine."
Something that never quite happened with the Trojans. He spent two seasons backing up Cody Kessler then finally earned the shot he'd waited for when he rose to the top of the depth chart for the Trojans. His stay didn't last long. Facing a brutal stretch that included an opener against No. 1 Alabama and a visit to Stanford, Browne's grasp on the starting gig lasted all of three games before coach Clay Helton gave the ball to freshman Sam Darnold, last seen rallying the Trojans past Penn State in the Rose Bowl at the same time Browne was headed across the country to start the next chapter of his life. "It was a tough first three games," said Browne, who completed 58 of 93 passes for 507 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in 2016. "Played some great opponents. But that's the product of SC in general. You've always got someone behind you. Went out there, did what I felt I could. Things didn't work out. It is what it is. Happy to be here." - AP Sports
12/16/16 - Former five-star USC QB latest transfer looking to lead Pitt's explosive offense...Pittsburgh will have to hire its third offensive coordinator since Pat Narduzzi arrived after Matt Canada, like Jim Chaney before him, was hired away by an SEC school (Canada to LSU, Chaney to Georgia in 2015), but at least the Panthers have already identified a possible replacement for starting quarterback Nate Peterman with the commitment of Southern California graduate transfer Max Browne. Browne was a five-star prospect coming out of high school when he committed to the Trojans as part of their 2013 recruiting class. After two seasons as a backup, Browne got a chance to start three games in 2016 before Sam Darnold took over as QB1 in the Coliseum.
The quarterback depth behind Peterman, a graduate transfer himself coming from Tennessee in 2015, was a concern for the Panthers all season, but Peterman stayed healthy and productive. Pitt averaged a school-record 42.3 points this season with Peterman (26 passing touchdowns, six interceptions) under center. Getting another experienced quarterback will give Pitt good competition in spring practice and a live quarterback who can start immediately should he win the job entering the fall. - Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com
11/02/16 - Southern California has granted quarterback Max Browne permission to speak with other programs about a possible transfer, though the redshirt junior remains with the team. Trojans coach Clay Helton said Tuesday that Browne can speak to any FBS program, including other schools in the Pac-12. Browne would be immediately eligible to play next season as a graduate transfer from USC (5-3, 4-2 Pac-12). "He has graduated from this university and has done everything right, so he deserves the opportunity to find his perfect fit, whether that is here or someplace else," said Helton, who took the starting job away from Browne after three games this season. "The biggest thing is just to get the word out."
After three years in the tumultuous USC program as a redshirt and Cody Kessler's backup, Browne passed for 481 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, but USC went 1-2 while scoring just one touchdown in its losses to top-ranked Alabama and defending conference champion Stanford. Browne then lost his position to redshirt freshman Sam Darnold, who has led USC on a four-game winning streak after losing his debut at Utah. Darnold has been excellent while passing for 1,565 yards with 18 touchdown passes. Browne was regarded as the top pro-style quarterback in the 2013 recruiting cycle after a record-setting career at Skyline in Sammamish, Washington. Long-departed coach Lane Kiffin recruited him, but Browne stuck with the Trojans through several coaching changes, including last season's switch to Helton, his former position coach. - AP Sports
08/22/16 - Browne win USC quarterback job...Junior Max Browne has outdueled redshirt freshman Sam Darnold and will be the starting quarterback when Southern California opens the season against Alabama on Sept. 3. USC coach Clay Helton announced the decision on Saturday after a spirited derby between the two signal callers. "At this point, we feel that it is in the best interest of our football team to lean on the veteran experience that Max Browne has, so we have named him the starter going into our opening game against Alabama," Helton said in a statement. "With our experienced offensive line and the weapons at our skill positions, we as a staff are confident that Max's ability will help guide a very successful offense."
Browne, who has thrown 19 college passes, said he was thrilled when Helton broke the news to him that he had won the job. "It was a moment of realization that hard work and staying the course paid off for me," Browne said. "I feel like I have put in the work necessary to earn the starting position and I look forward to leading this team to championships. "Sam is a heck of a player and he pushed me to the final day of camp. We are good friends and I have no doubt he will have a great career at USC." Browne and Darnold competed throughout the spring and summer until Saturday's decision. The Trojans are replacing three-year starter Cody Kessler, who is now a member of the Cleveland Browns. Helton feels the coaching staff did the right thing by keeping the competition going up until two weeks before the first game. - The Sports Xchange
09/11/13 - Embattled Kiffin looking for positives...In a diplomatic way, embattled USC coach Lane Kiffin is facing his critics with acceptance. In his weekly media conference, he defended Trojan fans who booed him and chanted "Fire Kiffin" at the end of Saturday's 10-7 humbling loss to visiting Washington State. "You've got to find positives in things and it speaks to the passionate 'SC fans," Kiffin said. "That was not the product anyone should be happy to see. I need to do a better job"
The loss to the Cougars at the Los Angeles Coliseum certainly was not to athletic director Pat Haden's liking. Haden and Kiffin have a weekly Sunday conversation. When Kiffin was asked if Haden offered advice to him for the Boston College game this week at the Coliseum, the USC coach answered: "No, it wasn't that type of conversation." Kiffin believes the first step toward rectifying the program is picking a definite starter at quarterback. He named Cody Kessler his No. 1 quarterback Monday afternoon. Max Wittek will have to wait until either Kessler falters or gets injured to get another chance.
Forget about the possibility of highly touted freshman Max Browne playing. "I didn't know they were screaming (for Browne)," Kiffin told the Los Angeles Daily News about the fans yelling for Browne to play. "Max has a great future. Ideally, we would like to redshirt him." Kiffin is mortgaging his future on Browne, but he might not get the chance to coach him if USC does not improve. Kessler and Wittek combined for 54 yards passing against Washington State and Wittek did not record a pass in the third quarter. - The Sports Xchange
08/13/13 - TOP OF 2013 RECRUITING CLASS: QB Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash., Skyline High) He was the Gatorade National Player of the Year, the USA Today All-USA Offensive Player of the Year and the nation's No. 1 pro-style quarterback, according to Rivals.com. He's 6-5 with a big arm, and already enrolled. Well-suited to USC's offense, he will compete in the spring for the quarterback job vacated by four-year starter Matt Barkley. As a senior, he completed 277 of 377 passes for 4,526 yards with 49 touchdowns and five interceptions. - The Sports Xchange