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Cal Football

Spring Practice Day One

March 18, 2024
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MEMORIAL STADIUM - The weather couldn’t have been better for the opening morning of spring ball this morning with blue skies and a light breeze and temps that hit the upper 60s by the end of today’s abbreviated hour and a half session at Memorial.

"First day spring football,” head coach Justin Wilcox said. “So it's a lot of fun being back on the field. Players seem to enjoy it. I know the coaches do. Just to get back out here competing and working on football again." 

Lots of new faces were on the field today with some jumping right in on the action and others being eased in.

Much like former preferred walk-on Trond Grizzell had a strong connection with Mendoza last spring and fall, PWO receiver Jordan King was a favorite target today for the returning starter, pulling in passes of 20 and 25 yards in the session. Mendoza also had a standout completion for a 25-yard gain to Grizzell.

Mendoza’s added size and strength showed on the field where he was quick and decisive with his throws, with good velocity. 

North Texas senior grad transfer Chandler Rogers was sharp much of the session, showing zip on his passes and good wheels when he pulled it down. His lone miscue was an overthrown pass that was picked by grad transfer cornerback Marcus Harris but he also had a long TD to PWO receiver Isaac Torres and a perfect 50-yard pass down the sideline that Notre Dame WR transfer Tobias Merriweather couldn’t hold onto. He play of the day was a perfectly thrown ball dropped over coverage for a 30-yard completion to Colorado transfer receiver Cole Boscia.

Wilcox noted that there’s no preference for finding a starter this spring vs. fall but that they’d be looking for some things in particular in the battle for QB1.

"Getting better," Wilcox noted. "Making great decisions, being accurate with the football. Running the offense. Leading the offense down the field.

“When the time comes, it reveals itself and we'll name the starter but really not gonna put any timeline, especially now early in spring ball.  I know they're both real eager to practice and play football and improve. So that's what we're looking for.”

Returning Pac-12 rushing champion Jadyn Ott looked strong and quick with a pair of good runs. Old Dominion by way of Alabama running back transfer Kadarius Calloway opened eyes with some particularly speedy runs for good gains.

Wilcox was asked if there were players who stepped into leadership roles in the offseason and he noted a few standouts.

"You've got the ones that you would probably assume like Craig Woodson, who has been here a long time," Wilcox said. "Good player, got the respect of his teammates, Craig has done a nice job. David Reese has really been a guy that's taken that role on. He's got the mentality for this game and he works and he's earned the respect of his teammates. David Reese has been a guy that's been noticeable in terms of the leadership role. Xavier (Carlton), we talked about him in the same way, just taking another step. TJ Session is another one. So I think there's been a number of guys that have stepped up in terms of how they communicate with their teammates, and obviously handling their business but also encouraging and influencing other people to be better."

Stay tuned for more on today’s practice session with player interviews.

Discussion from...

Spring Practice Day One

7,451 Views | 54 Replies | Last: 11 days ago by TheDuke!!!
Big C
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I feel like we can win more than six games with either Mendoza or Rogers at QB. Really glad we have them both.
calumnus
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Big C said:


I feel like we can win more than six games with either Mendoza or Rogers at QB. Really glad we have them both.


My concerns on offense in order are:
1. Scheme and playcalling
2. WR
3. OL
4. QB (if Mendoza, it is minimizing turnovers)
5. Ott staying healthy
CNHTH
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calumnus said:

Big C said:


I feel like we can win more than six games with either Mendoza or Rogers at QB. Really glad we have them both.


My concerns on offense in order are:
1. Scheme and playcalling
2. WR
3. OL
4. QB (if Mendoza, it is minimizing turnovers)
5. Ott staying healthy

Strangely, I am not concerned at all about oline this year and I have been for the last several.
I think we have a decent group this year that is far deeper than we've had in a while.
calumnus
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CNHTH said:

calumnus said:

Big C said:


I feel like we can win more than six games with either Mendoza or Rogers at QB. Really glad we have them both.


My concerns on offense in order are:
1. Scheme and playcalling
2. WR
3. OL
4. QB (if Mendoza, it is minimizing turnovers)
5. Ott staying healthy

Strangely, I am not concerned at all about oline this year and I have been for the last several.
I think we have a decent group this year that is far deeper than we've had in a while.


Agree, and that is why they are lower on my list this year. They did a great job most of the year when the playcalling was good. It is the bowl game that has me very concerned with the combination of #1 and the others but especially #3.

1. 73 yards rushing on 32 attempts. Ott held to 52 yards on 17 attempts.

2. Mendoza was sacked 5 times (11 "rushes" for 12 yards) and generally hurried throwing 3 picks. Plus 2 fumbles, one lost.

3. Cal held scoreless over the last 3 quarters with 10 Cal drives ending in a punt or a turnover.
MoragaBear
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I don't think it was a coincidence that Cal's offensive trouble started after Mendoza got injured. It was a shock that he was even able to go back in so soon.
calumnus
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MoragaBear
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calumnus said:

MoragaBear said:

I don't think it was a coincidence that Cal's offensive trouble started after Mendoza got injured. It was a shock that he was even able to go back in so soon.


He never sat out, right? So the official position is the running game was ineffective after the third possession because Mendoza was hurt?

I am skeptical, it reminds me too much of excuses made for Baldwin and Musgrave, but it is water under the bridge, what maters is Bloesch's offense this Fall. We both hope it will be great,
Before Mendoza was injured, they scored a 25 yard TD after the TT fumble on the first play from scrimmage. Then the next possession, they drove 85 yards on the next drive to the TT 5 before Mendoza was injured at the end of the play and Finley came in. Mendoza was 5-5 for 61 yards at that point and had run for 17 more. Once he was injured, his mechanics were clearly off when he came back in and TT could key on the run. Up to that point, Cal had run for 54 yards in 7 carries. It was all downhill after that. TT also has two DL projected to be drafted this year.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/playbyplay/_/gameId/401551753

https://bearinsider.com/s/3890/bears-fall-in-bowl-game-rematch-with-texas-tech-34-14
calumnus
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Shocky1
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good stuff, jim
dha
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Cal has a brutal schedule in our first year in the ACC. We will need a few upsets to end up with a winning record. Hope that our defense steps up and can keep us close in more games this year.
golden sloth
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dha said:

Cal has a brutal schedule in our first year in the ACC. We will need a few upsets to end up with a winning record. Hope that our defense steps up and can keep us close in more games this year.


I cant really agree with this. If anything I think Cal is likely to end the season on a 5 game win streak (or finish 4-1 if they slip up).

I see @Auburn and @florida state as definite losses.
At home to Miami and NC state as likely losses.
Everything else is winnable. 7-5 or 8-4 are entirely realistic.

Unfortunately the winnable games are at the end of the schedule. Its unfortunate because if they are at the beginning the hype train gets started and the ticket sales and viewership go up (both of which are absolutely critical for Cal to stay in a power conference at the next realignment).
oskiswifeshusband
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Not convinced Auburn is a for sure loss.

Auburn is very much beatable
calumnus
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oskiswifeshusband said:

Not convinced Auburn is a for sure loss.

Auburn is very much beatable


Never say never, we should have beaten them last year in Berkeley and Auburn is definitely not our toughest road trip. Still a lot of unknowns. The biggest issue is it's been 5 years since we beat a P5 team outside the state of California, and that includes some really terrible Colorado and Arizona teams.
TheDuke!!!
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calumnus said:

Big C said:


I feel like we can win more than six games with either Mendoza or Rogers at QB. Really glad we have them both.


My concerns on offense in order are:
1. Scheme and playcalling
2. WR
3. OL
4. QB (if Mendoza, it is minimizing turnovers)
5. Ott staying healthy
My concerns (also in order) are phrased bit different, but I think we might be on a similar page:

1. Our offensive coaches under Wilcox have not been very good at coaching/recruiting.
2. Our offensive players this year (except Ott) are not better than the players on the opposing teams' defenses.
TheDuke!!!
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MoragaBear said:

calumnus said:

MoragaBear said:

I don't think it was a coincidence that Cal's offensive trouble started after Mendoza got injured. It was a shock that he was even able to go back in so soon.


He never sat out, right? So the official position is the running game was ineffective after the third possession because Mendoza was hurt?

I am skeptical, it reminds me too much of excuses made for Baldwin and Musgrave, but it is water under the bridge, what maters is Bloesch's offense this Fall. We both hope it will be great,
Before Mendoza was injured, they scored a 25 yard TD after the TT fumble on the first play from scrimmage. Then the next possession, they drove 85 yards on the next drive to the TT 5 before Mendoza was injured at the end of the play and Finley came in. Mendoza was 5-5 for 61 yards at that point and had run for 17 more. Once he was injured, his mechanics were clearly off when he came back in and TT could key on the run. Up to that point, Cal had run for 54 yards in 7 carries. It was all downhill after that. TT also has two DL projected to be drafted this year.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/playbyplay/_/gameId/401551753

https://bearinsider.com/s/3890/bears-fall-in-bowl-game-rematch-with-texas-tech-34-14
Mendoza has proven to be a serviceable QB. He has not yet proven to be a good QB. But he certainly has the potential to become one.

I don't disagree with your assessment of the first few drives in the bowl game. But it is missing an important piece of info: DeRuyter's defenses always seemed to take a few drives to get in the swing of things.

So the question is, would we have continued that offensive success if Mendoza didn't get nicked up?

Or was DeRuyter gonna squash our offense no matter what happened to Mendoza?

We are going to face better D-lines and defensive coaches this year than TT had last year. And Mendoza is going to get nicked up again this year. So unless he and our offensive coaches show major improvements, we will be in trouble.
bearsandgiants
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oskiswifeshusband said:

Not convinced Auburn is a for sure loss.

Auburn is very much beatable


Have you met the SEC officials?

Edit: they did our game, but we have no one to bring back as there is no pac. Will there be an acc crew doing this? If so, we have a chance.
calumnus
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bearsandgiants said:

oskiswifeshusband said:

Not convinced Auburn is a for sure loss.

Auburn is very much beatable


Have you met the SEC officials?

Edit: they did our game, but we have no one to bring back as there is no pac. Will there be an acc crew doing this? If so, we have a chance.


It remains to be seen how biased ACC officials will be towards us.
Bobodeluxe
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calumnus said:

bearsandgiants said:

oskiswifeshusband said:

Not convinced Auburn is a for sure loss.

Auburn is very much beatable


Have you met the SEC officials?

Edit: they did our game, but we have no one to bring back as there is no pac. Will there be an acc crew doing this? If so, we have a chance.


It remains to be seen how biased ACC officials will be towards us.
Southerners have always been very welcoming to Berkeley folks such as Mario Savio.
wifeisafurd
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oskiswifeshusband said:

Not convinced Auburn is a for sure loss.

Auburn is very much beatable
Neutral field, close odds.

Auburn is a tough place to play - they well favored by at least a touchdown, unless they fall apart against Alabama A&M. .
Oakbear
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oskiswifeshusband said:

Not convinced Auburn is a for sure loss.

Auburn is very much beatable
never over estimate JW
oskiswifeshusband
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I believe in the players.
BillyBoyBlue
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CNHTH said:

calumnus said:

Big C said:


I feel like we can win more than six games with either Mendoza or Rogers at QB. Really glad we have them both.


My concerns on offense in order are:
1. Scheme and playcalling
2. WR
3. OL
4. QB (if Mendoza, it is minimizing turnovers)
5. Ott staying healthy

Strangely, I am not concerned at all about oline this year and I have been for the last several.
I think we have a decent group this year that is far deeper than we've had in a while.


Wow, I am most concerned about our OL. They really broke down last year in the bowl game. Will that be a recipe for other teams to follow this year? If you have a good OL, you don't have to worry as much about the other players on offense. Of course if the scheming is truly terrible, nothing will work ...

BBB
MoragaBear
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Staff
TheDuke!!! said:

MoragaBear said:

calumnus said:

MoragaBear said:

I don't think it was a coincidence that Cal's offensive trouble started after Mendoza got injured. It was a shock that he was even able to go back in so soon.


He never sat out, right? So the official position is the running game was ineffective after the third possession because Mendoza was hurt?

I am skeptical, it reminds me too much of excuses made for Baldwin and Musgrave, but it is water under the bridge, what maters is Bloesch's offense this Fall. We both hope it will be great,
Before Mendoza was injured, they scored a 25 yard TD after the TT fumble on the first play from scrimmage. Then the next possession, they drove 85 yards on the next drive to the TT 5 before Mendoza was injured at the end of the play and Finley came in. Mendoza was 5-5 for 61 yards at that point and had run for 17 more. Once he was injured, his mechanics were clearly off when he came back in and TT could key on the run. Up to that point, Cal had run for 54 yards in 7 carries. It was all downhill after that. TT also has two DL projected to be drafted this year.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/playbyplay/_/gameId/401551753

https://bearinsider.com/s/3890/bears-fall-in-bowl-game-rematch-with-texas-tech-34-14
Mendoza has proven to be a serviceable QB. He has not yet proven to be a good QB. But he certainly has the potential to become one.

I don't disagree with your assessment of the first few drives in the bowl game. But it is missing an important piece of info: DeRuyter's defenses always seemed to take a few drives to get in the swing of things.

So the question is, would we have continued that offensive success if Mendoza didn't get nicked up?

Or was DeRuyter gonna squash our offense no matter what happened to Mendoza?

We are going to face better D-lines and defensive coaches this year than TT had last year. And Mendoza is going to get nicked up again this year. So unless he and our offensive coaches show major improvements, we will be in trouble.
TT finished 81st in total defense and was significantly worse the last month of the season than at any other point leading up to the bowl game.

The OL was pretty beat up heading into the bowl game and a bunch of those guys played hurt so they likely wore down quickly, especially when Mendoza's ability to throw was compromised.

It was a bad performance overall for sure. I just don't know how much can be drawn from it to indicate what to expect this season.
Oakbear
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oskiswifeshusband said:

I believe in the players.
I do too, but poor coaching/lack of inspiration has negative effects

I hope that Sirmon will do better now that his kid is gone and that our OC will be up to the task, but again we have JW doing the hiring ..

JW is a nice guy, but until he has consecutive winning seasons and we show up in all games, I will be a negaBear
95bears
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TheDuke!!! said:



Mendoza has proven to be a serviceable QB. He has not yet proven to be a good QB. But he certainly has the potential to become one.

I don't disagree with your assessment of the first few drives in the bowl game. But it is missing an important piece of info: DeRuyter's defenses always seemed to take a few drives to get in the swing of things.

So the question is, would we have continued that offensive success if Mendoza didn't get nicked up?


Noted in a thread on the Insider Board, he wasn't just nicked up, he was legit injured. It's the kind of thing that requires imaging so they didn't know at the time, but Fernando shouldn't have been out on the field after that.

The QB / Receiver chemistry is going to be interesting this Spring, esp. given the new faces. Without Mendoza, are Endries and Grizzel emerging like they did and vice-versa? They're all friends and in the same cohort. Was our surge last year once Mendoza got the job about leadership and belief by the whole team after getting beat down so much? Will they follow Rogers?
oskiswifeshusband
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Last year there was somewhat of a 2 or 3 way QB battle and important reps were lost.

The QB battle was frankly, awful. The winner was really who sucked the least.

This year the "battle" is 2 way and it's between two really good and experienced quarterbacks. It's who elevates the team the best.

Exciting.
calumnus
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95bears said:

TheDuke!!! said:



Mendoza has proven to be a serviceable QB. He has not yet proven to be a good QB. But he certainly has the potential to become one.

I don't disagree with your assessment of the first few drives in the bowl game. But it is missing an important piece of info: DeRuyter's defenses always seemed to take a few drives to get in the swing of things.

So the question is, would we have continued that offensive success if Mendoza didn't get nicked up?


Noted in a thread on the Insider Board, he wasn't just nicked up, he was legit injured. It's the kind of thing that requires imaging so they didn't know at the time, but Fernando shouldn't have been out on the field after that.

The QB / Receiver chemistry is going to be interesting this Spring, esp. given the new faces. Without Mendoza, are Endries and Grizzel emerging like they did and vice-versa? They're all friends and in the same cohort. Was our surge last year once Mendoza got the job about leadership and belief by the whole team after getting beat down so much? Will they follow Rogers?


Mendoza is a great kid, we all love him, but we were 3-2 before Mendoza and 3-5 after. There was no "surge" with him. We lost his first 4 starts. He was initially very efficient, yes, but soon ended up turning the ball over at a higher rate than Finley had.

The difference was Finley was experienced and Mendoza wasn't so there is good reason to believe Mendoza in his second season can cut down on the mistakes and become a truly efficient passer. It is good that he has added some bulk/strength. As I said above, the big questions on offense for me in order are: 1) scheme and playcalling 2) WR 3) OL then 4) QB.

Mendoza was best throwing quick, accurate darts over the middle of the field, especially to the TEs off of play action, in Spav's version of the Air Raid. We will see how he develops and does in Bloesch's offense and how much Bloesch adapts the offense to him, or whether Rodgers is more effective.

In any case, we are in a better position at QB than we were last year.
6956bear
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calumnus said:

95bears said:

TheDuke!!! said:



Mendoza has proven to be a serviceable QB. He has not yet proven to be a good QB. But he certainly has the potential to become one.

I don't disagree with your assessment of the first few drives in the bowl game. But it is missing an important piece of info: DeRuyter's defenses always seemed to take a few drives to get in the swing of things.

So the question is, would we have continued that offensive success if Mendoza didn't get nicked up?


Noted in a thread on the Insider Board, he wasn't just nicked up, he was legit injured. It's the kind of thing that requires imaging so they didn't know at the time, but Fernando shouldn't have been out on the field after that.

The QB / Receiver chemistry is going to be interesting this Spring, esp. given the new faces. Without Mendoza, are Endries and Grizzel emerging like they did and vice-versa? They're all friends and in the same cohort. Was our surge last year once Mendoza got the job about leadership and belief by the whole team after getting beat down so much? Will they follow Rogers?


Mendoza is a great kid, we all love him, but we were 3-2 before Mendoza and 3-5 after. There was no "surge" with him. We lost his first 4 starts. He was initially very efficient, yes, but soon ended up turning the ball over at a higher rate than Finley had.

The difference was Finley was experienced and Mendoza wasn't so there is good reason to believe Mendoza in his second season can cut down on the mistakes and become a truly efficient passer. It is good that he has added some bulk/strength. As I said above, the big questions on offense for me in order are: 1) scheme and playcalling 2) WR 3) OL then 4) QB.

Mendoza was best throwing quick, accurate darts over the middle of the field, especially to the TEs off of play action, in Spav's version of the Air Raid. We will see how he develops and does in Bloesch's offense and how much Bloesch adapts the offense to him, or whether Rodgers is more effective.

In any case, we are in a better position at QB than we were last year.
This. Way better off. I think Rogers is legit great competition for Mendoza. He has played a lot of ball. And been productive. IMO a big factor in the turnovers with Mendoza was his excitement. He played with a lot of energy and did not quit on the play. Sometimes he tried to make plays that were not available. Hopefully that experience will pay off. Rogers has a good history of low turnovers. New team and a step up in level of play though.

One thing that I do believe happened was despite comments to the contrary Jackson was always going to start game 1. And I think the team never really believed he earned it. Finley getting 2nd team reps and then starting was a major mistake. Once Mendoza got in even though they lost the games the team clearly responded.

If Rogers gets the nod I believe it will be because he earned the right. And I would expect the team to repsond well. Bloesch is an impressive guy. The players seem to like him and respect how he operates.

concernedparent
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calumnus said:

95bears said:

TheDuke!!! said:



Mendoza has proven to be a serviceable QB. He has not yet proven to be a good QB. But he certainly has the potential to become one.

I don't disagree with your assessment of the first few drives in the bowl game. But it is missing an important piece of info: DeRuyter's defenses always seemed to take a few drives to get in the swing of things.

So the question is, would we have continued that offensive success if Mendoza didn't get nicked up?


Noted in a thread on the Insider Board, he wasn't just nicked up, he was legit injured. It's the kind of thing that requires imaging so they didn't know at the time, but Fernando shouldn't have been out on the field after that.

The QB / Receiver chemistry is going to be interesting this Spring, esp. given the new faces. Without Mendoza, are Endries and Grizzel emerging like they did and vice-versa? They're all friends and in the same cohort. Was our surge last year once Mendoza got the job about leadership and belief by the whole team after getting beat down so much? Will they follow Rogers?


Mendoza is a great kid, we all love him, but we were 3-2 before Mendoza and 3-5 after. There was no "surge" with him. We lost his first 4 starts. He was initially very efficient, yes, but soon ended up turning the ball over at a higher rate than Finley had.

The difference was Finley was experienced and Mendoza wasn't so there is good reason to believe Mendoza in his second season can cut down on the mistakes and become a truly efficient passer. It is good that he has added some bulk/strength. As I said above, the big questions on offense for me in order are: 1) scheme and playcalling 2) WR 3) OL then 4) QB.

Mendoza was best throwing quick, accurate darts over the middle of the field, especially to the TEs off of play action, in Spav's version of the Air Raid. We will see how he develops and does in Bloesch's offense and how much Bloesch adapts the offense to him, or whether Rodgers is more effective.

In any case, we are in a better position at QB than we were last year.
3-2 beating by far the 3 worst teams on our schedule, a loss to Auburn that was likely a win with competent QB play. 3 of Mendoza's losses were to ranked teams with good defenses, and another one where he dropped 49 but ultimately lost due to a late special teams/defense meltdown.
MoragaBear
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Staff
Context matters
Jeff82
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MoragaBear said:

Context matters
Amen. From an eye test standpoint, Mendoza was clearly the best of the three QBs we had last year. He made plays, Jackson and Finley did not. That's why he should be QB1 going in. If Rogers beats him out, I'm OK with that. My hope is we don't have the dysfunction that occurred from Spavital trying to force Jackson into the job.
95bears
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Jeff82 said:

MoragaBear said:

Context matters
Amen. From an eye test standpoint, Mendoza was clearly the best of the three QBs we had last year. He made plays, Jackson and Finley did not. That's why he should be QB1 going in. If Rogers beats him out, I'm OK with that. My hope is we don't have the dysfunction that occurred from Spavital trying to force Jackson into the job.
That's what I meant by surge. It was night and day to me in individual and team play (even our poor defense seemed to try harder).

We now know the team had significant interpersonal issues with Finley. And Jackson was even farther away than Fernando mentally. When I heard him on the Paws podcast before the season I just thought 'Uh oh".
calumnus
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concernedparent said:

calumnus said:

95bears said:

TheDuke!!! said:



Mendoza has proven to be a serviceable QB. He has not yet proven to be a good QB. But he certainly has the potential to become one.

I don't disagree with your assessment of the first few drives in the bowl game. But it is missing an important piece of info: DeRuyter's defenses always seemed to take a few drives to get in the swing of things.

So the question is, would we have continued that offensive success if Mendoza didn't get nicked up?


Noted in a thread on the Insider Board, he wasn't just nicked up, he was legit injured. It's the kind of thing that requires imaging so they didn't know at the time, but Fernando shouldn't have been out on the field after that.

The QB / Receiver chemistry is going to be interesting this Spring, esp. given the new faces. Without Mendoza, are Endries and Grizzel emerging like they did and vice-versa? They're all friends and in the same cohort. Was our surge last year once Mendoza got the job about leadership and belief by the whole team after getting beat down so much? Will they follow Rogers?


Mendoza is a great kid, we all love him, but we were 3-2 before Mendoza and 3-5 after. There was no "surge" with him. We lost his first 4 starts. He was initially very efficient, yes, but soon ended up turning the ball over at a higher rate than Finley had.

The difference was Finley was experienced and Mendoza wasn't so there is good reason to believe Mendoza in his second season can cut down on the mistakes and become a truly efficient passer. It is good that he has added some bulk/strength. As I said above, the big questions on offense for me in order are: 1) scheme and playcalling 2) WR 3) OL then 4) QB.

Mendoza was best throwing quick, accurate darts over the middle of the field, especially to the TEs off of play action, in Spav's version of the Air Raid. We will see how he develops and does in Bloesch's offense and how much Bloesch adapts the offense to him, or whether Rodgers is more effective.

In any case, we are in a better position at QB than we were last year.
3-2 beating by far the 3 worst teams on our schedule, a loss to Auburn that was likely a win with competent QB play. 3 of Mendoza's losses were to ranked teams with good defenses, and another one where he dropped 49 but ultimately lost due to a late special teams/defense meltdown.


Yes and no. According to Sagarin, Stanford was the worst team on our schedule by the time we played them (#111 in Recent) and by any measure was worse than Idaho or Arizona State. But overall, I agree, our best wins were with Mendoza at QB, the biggest was UCLA.

Here is the key though: in every game Ott got more than 175 all purpose yards we won, no matter who was the QB. Every game he didn't, we lost, no matter who was the QB. In 5 of our losses he was held to under 100.

For Fernando the key is ball security. He had 14 turnovers in 8 games. 10 in the 5 losses, 4 in the 3 wins. Hopefully that comes with experience, though he is obviously excitable by nature. Most great QBs run "cool" but there are exceptions, and in that way Fernando reminds me some of Andrew Luck.
calumnus
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Jeff82 said:

MoragaBear said:

Context matters
Amen. From an eye test standpoint, Mendoza was clearly the best of the three QBs we had last year. He made plays, Jackson and Finley did not. That's why he should be QB1 going in. If Rogers beats him out, I'm OK with that. My hope is we don't have the dysfunction that occurred from Spavital trying to force Jackson into the job.


How did Spavital "force Jackson into the job."

Yes, Jackson started against North Texas and went 3 of 4 for 33 yards and a TD and rushed for 18 before leaving with an injury in the 1st quarter. Finley went the rest of the way apart from Fernando coming in at the end and missing on his lone pass attempt and getting sacked.

Finley then was the starter for Auburn, not Jackson, despite Jackson being healthy. Finley played until he got hurt just before the half. Jackson came in and we drove for our only TD. We had other potential scoring drives but lost by 4 in a game where we missed 3 makable FGs.

Jackson then started against Idaho and was mostly a game manager as we rushed for 256 yards with Jackson throwing for 2 TDs and rushing for a third TD in an easy win.

Despite our win over Idaho, Finley started against UW and played poorly. Jackson did not come in until the 3rd quartet but with Jackson at QB we scored 3 TDs on 3 possessions and was driving for a 4th on the next possession making it to the UW 25 when Cal elected to run out the clock instead.

Jackson started against ASU and again was a game manager in a game we never trailed.

The next week Mendoza was named the starter and Jackson never saw the field for Cal again. Finley was Mendoza's backup the rest of the way.

So, I disagree that Spavital "forced Jackson into the job." It was clearly Jackson and Finley QB battle with both getting equal amounts of playing time and passing attempts. Jackson started three games that we won. He played his best in relief in the two games we lost. In the 5 games he played in, we were never out scored when Jackson was QB. We moved the ball and scored with good ball security. If anything, Spavital stuck with Finley too long after too many turnovers in the two losses.

I do agree that it turned out Mendoza was the best passer of the three and should have gotten more of an opportunity far sooner.
Econ141
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Agree - I feel sam didn't get a fair chance to show we he had. I would add that he came into the Oregon game when we were getting steamrolled and again played in a manner that didn't warrant him getting cast aside.
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