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Cal vs. WSU: Goff & Jackson updates; Brazinski semifinalist for Campbell Trophy

The California Golden Bears return to Memorial Stadium this Saturday to face the Pirate and the Washington State Cougars. Let's take a look at this week's news and practice recaps - including updates on the QB situation and injuries (Jackson, Moore, Muhammad & Bigelow), as well as an academic honor for senior offensive lineman Mark Brazinski.

Kam Jackson & Sonny Dykes
Kam Jackson & Sonny Dykes
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The other newsworthy item - besides the McCain dismissal - at the beginning of this week was the sharing of 1st team quarterback reps in practice, between Jared Goff and Zach Kline:

In his Tuesday practice report, Jeff Faraudo commented on the decision by Coach Dykes to split QB reps this week:

Goff has been given a gentle reminder that he must continue to hone his game, even after the true freshman delivered such prolific numbers through the Bears' first three games. Goff certainly has kept a good head on his shoulders the past month, but this type of push for a young player is always a good thing.

And Kline, once expected to be the starter this season, has a new sense of excitement, a renewed belief in what is possible ... [and] he is sent a message that the coaching staff values him and wants him to remain at Cal to compete and help his team.

Hunter Hewitt added the following, in his Tuesday notebook:

Head coach Sonny Dykes has repeatedly said he expects Goff to be the starter Saturday, but Kline's play warranted more reps in practice. ...

The two quarterbacks split reps with the first-team offense Tuesday. Goff, who was first in the pecking order, said it's a little added motivation knowing the competition has essentially reopened.

"Zach is a great player, and he's always going to be pushing me," said Goff, who ranks seventh in the country with 329.3 passing yards per game despite throwing for just 11 yards against Oregon. "We are splitting reps right now and we will see what happens."

For more Tuesday post-practice quotes from Goff & Kline, as well as Bryce Treggs & Cam Walker, click on the interview links below:

After Wednesday's practice, Coach Dykes was asked about the QB situation, and responded that a starter would likely be named on Thursday:

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Hewitt's Wednesday practice recap described Sonny Dykes' familiarity with Mike Leach & the Air Raid, and also included some injury updates:

Washington State head coach Mike Leach and Cal head coach Sonny Dykes first met in 1997 at Kentucky.

Dykes was a first-year graduate assistant and Leach was the offensive coordinator under then-head coach Hal Mumme. ...

After spending several years as an assistant under Leach at Texas Tech, Dykes knows Leach's system well.

"I'm pretty familiar with what they do," he said. ...

"Everyone has taken it and put their spin on it," Dykes said of the Air Raid. "Mike has kept the most pure version of it." ...

After sitting out the last two practices, Kam Jackson practiced lightly Wednesday. He is expected to play against Washington State.

Steven Moore and Khalfani Muhammad also practiced lightly. They are listed as probable with head injuries.

Brendan Bigelow has spent the last three practices without a brace on his surgically repaired knee. He said he is feeling much more confident, and ditching the brace has helped his running.

In other [good] news, Mark Brazinski was named a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy, otherwise known as the "Academic Heisman" - the same award that Alex Mack won in 2008 and Mike Mohamed was a finalist for in 2010:

Also, Richard Rodgers was named a game captain for this Saturday's game:

Lastly, don't forget to revisit this week's WSU game-week content using the links below:

  • Know Your Enemy: Previewing the Washington State Offense
  • Scouting Washington State 2013- Rest of the Pac Breakdown
  • Time for the fourth episode of The Drive
  • Golden Nuggets: To beat WSU, Cal must "play good fundamental football"
  • Cal vs. Washington State: How confident are you in victory over WSU?