Cal undecided on starting quarterback for Saturday’s game

Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports file photoJared Goff’s struggles have opened the door for Zach Kline to possibly start at QB for Cal on Saturday.

Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports file photoJared Goff’s struggles have opened the door for Zach Kline to possibly start at QB for Cal on Saturday.

BERKELEY — Jared Goff or Zach Kline?

After spring ball, fall camp and seven regular-season games, the Cal football team is still trying to find its starting quarterback.

Goff started the season under center and led the nation in total offense after three weeks. But coach Sonny Dykes' Bear Raid offense is spinning its wheels right now and Kline completed 11-of-16 passes in relief of Goff last week.

Dykes said the quarterback who performs the best in practice this week will be the Bears' starter against Washington (4-3) on Saturday.

“We need to try to win some football games,” Dykes said.

Kline, a four-star recruit out of San Ramon Valley, provided a spark off the bench last week, leading the Bears (1-6) into the end zone twice. Goff, on the other hand, turned the ball over three times and the offense has produced just 13 points under his watch over the last two games.

The offense's struggles aren't entirely Goff's fault, though. The Bears are ranked 10th in the Pac-12 Conference in rushing offense and their inexperienced line has lost two starters to injury, including junior center Chris Adcock, the oldest member of the group.

Goff's confidence has taken a shot, Dykes said, but his psyche is “good.”

The first-year coach said confidence is a key attribute he's looking for going forward.

“Young quarterbacks, inexperienced guys don't often play well, especially their first year in a new offense,” Dykes said. “But sometimes they think they're good and sometimes the fact they think they're good is as important as them being good.”

Day off: The Bears received a day off from practice on Monday to recharge their batteries for Saturday's showdown in Seattle. Dykes said he wanted to give his players a chance to recoup physically and mentally.

“I think at a place like Cal, you've got to give the kids some time to take care of their academic things, as well,” Dykes said. “Just a day where they're not having to worry about practice and football or watching film or any of that kind of stuff.”

He said the team also needed a change of pace after losing five straight games.

“Anything you can do to tweak it a little bit when you're not playing well I think is a positive,” he said.

Kindred spirits: Dykes and his predecessor Jeff Tedford share a few things in common.

The Texas native holds Tedford's former job, they're both offensive-minded coaches and they've both had to navigate the rigors of a Pac-12 schedule after losing a large chunk of their opening day lineups to injuries.

“I have a lot of sympathy [for Tedford],” Dykes said, referring to the hand he was dealt via injury last year. “Going through this is not fun.”

pgackle@sfexaminer.com

NEXT GAME

Cal vs. Washington

WHEN: Saturday, 8 p.m.

WHERE: Husky Stadium, Seattle

TV: Fox Sports 1

RADIO: KGO (810 AM)

CalCollege SportsJared GoffZach Kline

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