There was no surprise Thursday evening when coach Sonny Dykes announced that freshman Jared Goff will continue to be the Bears’ starting quarterback.
Goff and redshirt freshman Zach Kline shared reps all week after the Bears’ 55-16 loss at Oregon in a rainstorm, but Goff gets the call for the Washington State game on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
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“He practiced well. Had a good body of work thus far, other than the beginning of the Oregon game. We felt he deserved it,” Dykes said. “Both practiced really well this week and I think we could have been comfortable with either one of them.”
Dykes has indicated at times all week he expected Goff to be the choice.
“I just wanted to see how he responded. I anticipated him responding the way he has, but you never know with an 18-year-old kid and how he’s going to handle when things don’t go his way,” Dykes said. “We’ve had some struggles, but for the most part he’d played pretty well.”
Dykes said there is a “possibility” both could see action Saturday, but could not lay out a scenario that would necessarily lead to that. “It’s always a feel thing.”
Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin said Goff’s performance the first three games earned him the chance to start again, even after he was yanked from the game late in the first quarter at Oregon, with Cal trailing 27-0. Goff had two of the four fumbles the Bears lost on their first four possessions of the game, and Franklin shouldered some of the blame for that.
Calling it the “worst weather I’ve ever been in in my life,” Franklin said, “As a 56-year-old coach who’s been doing this forever, I didn’t prepare well enough. That’s really bad coaching on my part, to not be prepared for that and not have a solution.”
Junior running back Brendan Bigelow, who had knee surgery last spring, had his best week of practice, Dykes said.
“It’s all confidence with him. Every week he feels better,” said Dykes, adding that it would be up to Bigelow whether he wears a knee brace Saturday.
Franklin, who played running back in college, said, “You always hope that they go out and immediately it comes back. I know this for me, I played running back and when I was overcoming injuries, especially surgery, I was bad and it took me a long time to get this (mental) part right.”
Dykes, who took no questions on injuries Thursday, said freshman Jeffrey Coprich will be the No. 3 running back. That suggests that freshman Khalfani Muhammad, who suffered a head injury at Oregon, likely won’t play.