LOS ANGELES — Freshman Sam Darnold will be Southern California's starting quarterback on Friday night at Utah, replacing Max Browne after just three games.
Coach Clay Helton made the announcement Monday after USC's practice.
Browne is 55 of 87 for 474 yards with two touchdown passes and two interceptions in his first three games as the starter at USC (1-2), which lost at Stanford last weekend.
The redshirt junior waited three years behind Cody Kessler before beating out Darnold for the starting job in training camp this summer.
But Helton says his offense "needs a spark" after scoring only one touchdown in losses to Alabama and Stanford.
Darnold has played occasionally this season, going 14 for 22 for 136 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. His athleticism provides a counterpoint to Browne.