Football: Is a quarterback battle brewing?

Long after Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks had decided this one in Oregon State’s favor, Cal coach Sonny Dykes ignited a potential quarterback controversy Saturday night in front of 44,671 fans at Memorial Stadium.

The Beavers were well on their way to a 49-17 victory when Dykes made the call with 8:31 left in the third quarter to lift starting freshman quarterback Jared Goff in favor of redshirt freshman Zach Kline.

Dykes made the same switch three weeks earlier at Oregon, but this time Goff’s interception and two lost fumbles didn’t come in a monsoon rainstorm. This time, they looked like the mistakes of a 19-year-old whose confidence may be shaken.

Dykes said there likely will be competition in practice this week, but wasn’t prepared to say which quarterback will start next Saturday at Washington.

“Moving forward, we’ll see,” he said. “I don’t know what the answer is.”

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Jeff Faraudo

  • Bear78

    Alas, they should probably have competition for coaching this week instead.

  • joshiemac

    Goff has clearly regressed, as has the rest of the O. I’m all for giving Kline a few starts to see what he can do. This year is no longer about this year for Cal FB, it’s about doing their best to build for something better next year. I think that includes seeing which QB is better suited to run this offense.

  • Larry

    Screw it, put in Kline to see what he can do. Nothing to lose at this point.

  • Juancho


    Goff is 19. And is doing his best to lead a team that has no hope. Dont burn the kid out. Let him watch a few weeks and clear his head. Goff has two touchdowns over the last four games. And a ton of fumbles and interceptions.

    I wish dykes had the guts to say at the press conference that were giving kline the keys to the car next week mgive him 100% shot to wim the job. No splitting practice reps mgive him the full week or two. Even if he was tedfords guy.

  • Juancho

    Agree. Set kline up for success. Give him all the first team reps. And commit to giving him more than one start.

    He at least had a spark. Goff looks his age. And like a guy who could use a break to clear his head.
    Pif kline throws that pick again after working with the 1s then thats a problem. But were going to ruin kline if hes iust our mop up duty guy. He needs those reps during the week to have synergy with the wideouts.

  • Juancho

    Goff was lights out early. But has 2 tds in the last 4 games. And lots omfumbles and picks. Hes regressing. If kline doesnt get the keys to the car now then when?

  • CalBearister

    I think Kline did enough to earn a start at Washington. But not to “commit to giving him more than one.” Goff may look his age, but Kline’s not much older (redshirt year doesn’t give him that much of an advantage), and it’s not like he’s been lights out when he’s played.

    This season is a dumpster fire. Little more than 5 glorified scrimmages to go. Dykes needs to recruit offensive linemen, offensive linemen, and offensive linemen. Because without that, we’re screwed. Can’t run the ball with no blocking, and can’t throw the ball in the red zone without a credible run game.

  • ScottyBear

    Kline just looked the part of the starter and leader last night in his reps at QB. His energy and swagger were distinctly bigger than Goff’s and Kline moved the chains for two TD’s.

    Sorry, the hurry up passing offense that Sonny runs is nothing more than a dink and dunk game plan that our opponents have figured out and are stuffing. Kline!

  • CalBearister

    Disagree ScottyBear. Dykes’ offense isn’t dink-and-dunk passing. He goes downfield a lot; just you can’t do that much when the o-line doesn’t pass protect well. And he’d like to run half the time. Just you can’t do that when the o-line doesn’t run block well.

    Rebuild the o-line, points will follow.

  • Juancho

    Kline after the game. http://youtu.be/fMPNfEbytAs

  • Juancho

    Goff after the game. http://youtu.be/mW2e82K6Ud8

    If youre on the team. What guy looks and sounds like the guy you could rally behind.

  • Juancho

    This line was actually doing okay until matt cochran got hurt.

    This line is stocked with highly rated recruits. So this is coaching.

  • wehofx

    Agree that Kline deserves the start and majority of reps w 1’s. Goff’s confidence is shaken and coupla weeks watching will be beneficial.

    But as I’m sure others have pointed out – sped read game day thread – ZK did/will make a coupla INT’s per game from inexperience just like Goff did.

    I was on the ZK bandwagon until SD declared Goff the starter. Then, Goff won me over w NU game. I hope ZK gets his chance. But. I hope SD and TF make a decision after a coupla games and declare starter for rest of season so we can build for next year.

    ScottyBear, Re: dink. The long post 40 yardsish to Harper(?). the ball that slipped out of goff’s hand was another 40ish skinny post.

    As above, Peyton/Brady/Jesus couldn’t score w this O line and complete absence of running game.

    OL has shown the least improvement. Pure speculation: maybe Yenser is trying to be a buddy instead of a Coach. Yenser gets one more year because of injuries and the chance to grow into the job. But. He better land at least 1 OL rock star come LOI day.

    I like that SD/TF kept trying different RB’s. Seems like KM has got to hit the weight room BIG TIME. He cannot break a tackle and his speed – so far – is not football fast. I say Coprich(sp) and Ervin are now 1A and 1B. Like I said on previous thread, never thought I’d miss Isi as starter.

  • discdude

    Senor Juancho, I like that you are approaching this from the perspective of being a coach. I think it’s only natural for Goff to be down after getting yanked again, and he’s still only 1 year removed from HS. The confidence from the other players was good at the beginning of the year, but as we’ve progressed, it’s apparent that perhaps he’s a little young and could use some seasoning. This year is a lost cause at this point, so we need both guys getting reps and then may the better man win in the spring.

    I think it’s time to give your man the start and I predict it will happen. Not that anyone will be watching anyway since the game starts at 11 pm EST.

  • Juancho

    Disc, I think that’s the key. Goff is young. Realistically he should be 3 months removed from graduating high school. But because he enrolled in the spring it was as though he made a huge leap forward. Which he did in some regards. But the kid just turned 19 two weeks ago.

    Let’s not let this tough season burn either of these two quarterbacks. I think both can do a good job. But when I see and hear Goff now, I see a kid who is looking for the coaches to give him a break, and take him out of the deep frier for a few weeks so he can take a breath.

    When I see Kline, especially his video after the game, I see the guy who is saying, let me take the load the next couple of weeks, and what happens, happens.

    The reality is neither guy is the problem, or the answer. Both are good. If the team around them was way better, we’d be competitive. When it comes to making this team better I don’t think QB is where we are hurting.

    But why not let this be the time to give Kline a shot to show what he’s got. And to see if the team can rally around him, Goff included.