Football: No decision on QB expected until at least Friday; O-line moves likely permanent

Coach Sonny Dykes said after practice Wednesday he probably won’t name a starting quarterback until Friday, and didn’t say whether that information would become public at that point.

Dykes also said the moves made along the offensive line are not short-term fixes but expected to be permanent position changes.

Freshman Jared Goff, the starter for seven games, and redshirt freshman Zach Kline continued to share first-team reps Wednesday in preparation for Saturday night’s game at Washington.

The coach will meet with reporters, as usual, after Thursday’s closed practice, but it didn’t sound like a decision on the starting quarterback would be forthcoming by then.

Dykes said he is not entertaining the notion of playing both Goff and Kline on Saturday.

“It’s not what we want to do,” he said. “Typically, we want to play somebody, let him get a feel for the game, let him go. The last thing we want to do is somebody gets into a flow and another quarterback comes in. I’ve never found that to be particularly effective.”

There is less mystery along the offensive line, where sophomore Jordan Rigsbee has been moved from left guard to center, freshman Chris Borrayo is being pulled out of his redshirt year to play left guard, and tackle Freddie Tagaloa is being shifted from left tackle to right guard.

Dykes also said redshirt freshman guard Matt Cochran, sidelined the past four games because of ankle surgery, could be ready to return by next week’s home game against Arizona.

Asked about the offensive line shuffling, Dykes said, “Just trying to find some things that work. We think it’s a way to get some guys in positions we think they can excel in.

“They’re long-term moves as well. We’re going to develop those guys at those positions — all of them. They’ll stay there for the forseeable future.”

Rigsbee is being moved to center, where senior Chris Adcock started the first four games before tearing knee ligaments in practice. Senior Mark Brazinski has started the past three games.

“We think Rigsbee has a chance to be the center for a long time,” Dykes said. “He’s probably the most consistent guy. If he can hold down that center position, I think it will allow us to develop some other players.”

One of those guys is Borrayo, who hasn’t played the first seven games, but has been on the coaching staff’s radar. Dykes said the key with Borrayo is that he isn’t having his redshirt season burned to serve in a minor role.

“It’s something we’ve been talking about for a while. Since he’s going to be a starter and we’re playing five important ballgames the next five weeks, we think it’s a good move,” Dykes said.

Tagaloa, at 6-foot-8, 330 pounds, was touted out of Salesian High as a star on the rise at offensive tackle. But he’s been less consistent than the coaching staff hoped and has had trouble containing quick defenders on the edge.

“His strength is not playing in space. It’s playing in a little bit more confined space,” Dykes said. “The guard position allows him to do that. It lets him be more aggressive, lets him be less of a finesse player.

“I think the move makes sense. I think he’ll develop into a fabulous player, I really do.”

Dykes said it hasn’t been decided whether Tagaloa or Alejandro Crosthwaite — who replaced Cochran — will start on Saturday. The equation could get especially complicated when Cochran returns to the mix.

For now, anyway, the starting O-line appears to be: LT Christian Okafor, LG Chris Borrayo, C Jordan Rigsbee, RG Alejandro Crosthwaite/Freddie Tagloa, RT Steven Moore.

If Tagaloa gets the call, we’re talking two sophomores, two redshirt freshmen and one true freshman.

Jeff Faraudo

  • HeteroscedasticBear

    Kline. Kline. Kline. Insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Goff is 1-6 as a starter. how many turnovers is he responsible for?

    Washington = Rain or Moisture. Goff can’t hold on to the ball, wet or dry.

    If Dykes, doesn’t see what’s clearly obvious to the fan base, then he’s lost my support and my interest. Then I will feel sorry for Kline and for the team.

  • Larry

    I conclude that Brazinski sucks and will not play unless someone is injured.

  • covinared

    Last year so many keyboard cowboy experts called out for Bigelow. This year its Kline. The problem is not with Goff, he is well equipped to run this offense, its the line. Changes are being made to improve the line. I like Kline, but clearly Goff is better in the long run.

  • Juancho

    The problem is the Franklin offense is much more predictable and much less innovative than it was pitched.

    Cornerbacks are jumping all the short routes.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Mid-season OL switches declared long term does not inspire much confidence in our coaches from me.

    “Just trying to find some things that work. We think it’s a way to get some guys in positions we think they can excel in.

    “They’re long-term moves as well. We’re going to develop those guys at those positions — all of them. They’ll stay there for the forseeable future.”

    Were they not “developing” two of those guys at two different positions? I mean, had an new OL coach come in, studied tape, met and watched some practices, and then reccommended some position switches, saying he believed it fit their skill sets better, I’d be more apt to believe it.

    This screams of a used car salesman trying to justify desparation moves. How hard would “we are having trouble up front and we think this could improve things” be?

    I just think the man is all talk at this point. His moments in “The Drive” do absolutely nothing for me.


    Covinared, how is Goff CLEARLY better than Kline in the long run?

    We have no evidence on Kline with the first team. We have reason to believe Goff is simply incapable of playing in wet conditions (he literally said the weather was one reason he chose Cal!) and managed to just let the ball slip away in dry conditions last week. His numbers are very much a product of volume attempts. Both have 3 years of eligibility remaining.

    You are more full of crap than a keyboard cowboy expert.

    Many of the calls for Kline are not merely to see him start, but to see what he can do (and the team around him) with a full week of first team reps. The time with Goff as an observer could be very useful to the true freshman as well.

    There have been very few conclusive statements that Kline is superior to Goff, only that we want to see how things look with him at the helm. It’s unfounded conclusions like “clearly Goff is better in the long run” that screams of either a self proclaimed expert or a fan willing to believe the coaches of his team can never make mistakes.

    But then again, the coaches opened up the QB spot for competition again, so I gues it isn’t so clear to them either that Goff is best for now or the long run.

  • rotfogel

    “Covinared, how is Goff CLEARLY better than Kline in the long run?”

    I must second that!

    We haven’t seen Kline except for mop up duty during blowouts in which Goff was completely ineffective.

    So again, exactly how is Goff clearly better? I went to the spring practices and from my vantage point Kline was clearly better. I understand that Dykes felt differently but at this point, if Kline doesn’t get a start, I might show up to the game with a paper bag covering my face.

  • H8sRed

    One of the preseason concerns about Goff that people are forgetting is that as a true freshman people thought he was simply too slight in build to handle the physical rigors of being a Pac-12 QB every week. This, more than porous o-line play and the lack of a running game, may explain his huge statistical drop-off as the season has worn on.

    I concur that Kline may not be better than Goff, but at this juncture he has earned a start. Goff may be the better QB in practice, but Kline may be the better game-day QB. We’ll never know until the coaching staff gives him a shot. (Ron Rivera was notoriously bad in practice, but he was a beast in games, which he parlayed into a successful NFL career as both a player and coach.)

  • Juancho

    We’re playing against Tosh and Shaq Thompson this week. Kline was the leader of that recruiting class. This was the week to use that as a huge energy spike to rally the team.

    Instead Dykes went the easy way out.

    Goff has had the first team reps all year except for two weeks. If Kline starts, the coach cannot positively answer if questioned as to whether he put Kline in the best position to succeed.

    He should have said Goff is our guy until proven otherwise. But we’re giving him a week off b/c he’s 19, and could use a mental break to watch and rest his body.

    So we’re giving Kline all the first team reps.

  • dballisloose

    Hey Juancho, you’re right that Kline was the leader of that recruiting class but also Avery Sebastien was a freshman on campus and the one who coined “we all we got, we all we need” and helped hold the class of incoming recruits together as best as possible. Too bad he’s not able to play against UW.

  • Mallrat92204


    It isn’t insanity playing Goff because they aren’t expecting “different” results with the same thing. I think they are trying to get Northwestern/Ohio St results from Goff versus UCLA, Oregon St, WSU results.

    In regards to Kline, I’m not opposed to playing him since this is a lost season but the grass is always greener cliche works here