Cal football: Jared Goff the starter, but Zach Kline likely to keep pushing

Steve Dykes

Sonny Dykes says Jared Goff is the starter, but after getting a chance on Saturday, it's hard not to think Zach Kline will do all he can to stay in the race.

Sonny replacing Jared Goff with Zach Kline. What are your thoughts on that decision? Did Kline do enough (and Goff do not enough) on Saturday night to reconsider reopening the Klingoff debate?

Vlad Belo: I was surprised at the decision at the time it happened, but I understand it completely. Jared looked rattled out there in his 3 or 4 series, or how ever many it was. Two fumbles and just didn't look comfortable throwing the ball. I read Sonny's quote after the game that he didn't have confidence that Jared could hold onto the football in that weather. If you don't have confidence that your quarterback is going to be able to hold onto the football, much less throw it, you have to make a change.

That said, I don't think the debate is reopened on Goff vs. Kline. Goff won the job in training camp and I think we write this one off as a learning experience for Goff. Besides, while Kline looked okay, I don't think he performed well enough to say, "Wow, he's better than Goff and should be the starter." Going off of Goff's entire body of work so far this season, I think he deserves to start again next week and have his chance at redemption in a winnable game.

Berkelium97: The decision made sense. Goff struggled to hold onto the ball and his fumbles were putting our team in terrible situations. Kline looked okay, given the circumstances. Perhaps it was due to the rain, but some of his throws looked odd. The announcers even commented on it and said he looked like he was a shotputter. He certainly didn't play well enough for the Klingoff debate to be reopened.

Sam Fielder: To me it was a solid decision. Goff clearly could not hold on to the ball and looked completely shell-shocked. To leave him in there to get more turnovers or to struggle even more would have been counter productive, or at least to me it would have been. Kline came in, and while he didn't set the world on fire, or lead us to the upset, he still did a fine job. I don't think this reignites the Klingoff debate, so long as Jared comes out next week and plays like he has shown he can. It's a bump in the road for Goff, and as a true freshman, playing in Autzen, in a monsoon, it can be chalked up to a bad night and (hopefully) everyone can more on.

Leland Wong: I'm surprised Dykes made the decision after a little less than one quarter of play, but it's understandable given Goff's performance. Kline had a great start on his opening drive, but was unspectacular after that, whereas Goff has been very impressive in the first three games of the season, so Kline didn't exactly kick down the door for a new QB competition. However, it would be very difficult for Kline to be impressive given the weather and the opposition, so I wouldn't write him off based on three quarters. I like Dykes's stance on having all positions under constant evaluation, so hopefully the coaches have been evaluating the quarterbacks during practice.

Ruey Yen: I concur with everyone else (hooray for CGB Group think!) that this was the correct decision given Goff's problem holding on to the ball (was this some special new Nike ball that is different from the "wet ball" that the Bears have been practicing with?). Right after Kline enter the game, the Bears offense was definitely moving at a noticeably faster pace. The promising first Kline drive did end in an INT, unfortunately (and my memory of the game started to fade to black after that point). With Goff having such issue holding on to the ball, Sonny had to make a move for no other reason than to show how all those fumbles are not acceptable.

I was excited to see Kline getting some game action. Still, I would not be surprised if Goff finish the year (barring injury) without ever giving Kline another run. It would be very interesting to see how Goff bounce back in the Wazzu game. The Oregon game was the first road game of a true freshman's career, Goff being rattled is perhaps not all that unexpected.

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