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Cal Quarterback Controversy? Jared Goff No Longer the Only Starter on the Depth Chart


For the first time since August, there’s an “OR” on the Cal Bears‘ depth chart at the quarterback position. True freshman Jared Goff, who posted phenomenal numbers in the team’s first three games, and redshirt freshman Zach Kline, who replaced Goff in last weekend’s ugly loss to Oregon, shared reps at practice this week, stirring rumors that Goff’s lost fumbles against the Ducks might have helped him lose his job.

Kline played much better in messy conditions last Saturday, but Goff’s body of work this season speaks for itself. Even after an unbelievably poor performance against Oregon, when he completed just three of six pass attempts for 11 yards, Goff is still seventh in the nation in passing yards per game.

Head coach Sonny Dykes indicated that Goff will “likely” start again this Saturday against Washington State, but that the coaching staff was taking another look after Kline’s performance this weekend.

Goff was ineffective against the Oregon defense in monsoon-like conditions; in addition to his abysmal passing stats, he was also sacked twice, and he lost two fumbles during Cal’s first four possessions in the game.

Kline came into the game for the first time this season with 2:47 left in the first half and handled the slippery weather conditions better than Goff, finishing 18 of 37 for 165 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Being outplayed by the backup and then being listed as possible co-starters would make many starting quarterbacks more than a little nervous, but Goff doesn’t have anything to worry about — yet.

The weather conditions during the Oregon game weren’t typical; even Kline, who spent most of the first half on the sidelines, compared the downpours to standing under a shower head.

He told the media that playing well in “the worst conditions possible” boosted his confidence in his ability to play well under any circumstances, but in normal — or just less severe — weather, Goff still has more upside. That’s why Dykes chose him as the starter, and until last Saturday, it worked well.

Unless there’s another storm in the forecast for the Pacific Northwest, expect Goff to remain the Cal Bears’ starting quarterback.

Related Links
Sonny Dykes Makes Major Statement with New Cal Starting Quarterback
Jared Goff is the Future of Cal Bears Football and that Future is Bright
Jared Goff Taking Everything in Stride as Cal Bears Starting Quarterback

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Cal Bears Cut Ties with Defensive End Chris McCain

Things haven’t started off so well for the Cal Bears under new head coach Sonny Dykes. While many expected the young roster to struggle with a daunting early-season schedule, there is still plenty of disappointment with the team’s current 1-3 mark. Part of that disappointment has been how poorly the defense has played so far but that didn’t stop Dykes from dismissing his best pass rusher Chris McCain from the team after the Bears’ 55-16 loss to the Oregon Ducks.

So far this season, the entire Cal defense has struggled to stop opposing offenses, allowing 181 points through the first four games. McCain was supposed to be the team’s best defender and pass rusher after moving down to the defensive end spot from his 3-4 linebacker position he played in 2012. The 6-foot-6, 250-pound junior had prototypical length to blossom into an elite pass rusher this season and provide a much needed boost to the Bears’ defensive front.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the way things panned out. McCain made 11 tackles in three games (he didn’t play against Portland State) with one quarterback pressure and a forced fumble. He got himself ejected from the season opener against the Northwestern Wildcats on a targeting penalty and has reportedly been involved in some less-than-sportsmanlike behavior during games on the field. Dykes finally saw enough from McCain, kicking him off the team for “conduct detrimental to the team.”

On paper, this will hurt Cal’s defense immediately. The Bears are already short-handed due to injuries and have been forced to throw many young players into the fray before they’re prepared to handle it. But Dykes needs leaders who have bought into what he’s building in Berkeley and will be a positive influence on the team even in tough times.

McCain wasn’t meeting that expectation and was in danger of becoming a distraction in the locker room. For the long term chemistry of this team and the foundation that Dykes is building at Cal, there was simply no place for McCain on this roster.

You can follow me on Twitter @Teeblerone, on Facebook and on Google

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Defense Will Cost Cal Bears in Upset Bid Against Ohio State Buckeyes

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