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California's 24-21 Win Over Arizona State Reveals Continued Struggles for Quarterback Play
California managed only 130 passing yards compared to Arizona State's 362
California sophomore running back Jaydn Ott rushed for 167 yards and a touchdown to bring the California Golden Bears (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) to victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12), 24-21, Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Bears’ running back corps, anchored by Ott and Isaiah Ifanse, continues to be a bright spot for California’s offensive play. Of California’s 326 yards of total offense, a stunning 196 came on the ground.
Jackson V completed only 12 out of 29 passes and threw for just 130 passing yards, with Hunter snatching up 89 of those yards and the quarterback’s sole touchdown thrown.
“Sam is still a very young quarterback,” California head coach Justin Wilcox explained in the post-game press conference. “He hasn’t played that much at quarterback,” the coach said, referencing the sophomore transfer’s limited play at Texas Christian University before transferring to the confines of Strawberry Canyon.
“We just want to see a step… in the right direction,” Coach Wilcox continued.
California, which continues to list three quarterbacks on its weekly depth charts, does not appear to have settled on a starting quarterback.
After the game, Coach Wilcox told reporters he had considered playing redshirt first-year, Fernando Mendoza. However, the pace of play, characterized by momentum shifts sparked by Arizona State’s willingness to go for it on fourth down and punishing kickoff returns, did not give the Golden Bears a “natural” opportunity to switch play-callers.
The coach also said Ben Finley was not considered for play against the Sun Devils, as the redshirt sophomore missed “some” practice earlier this week.
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