All week long following the Cal football team’s Oct. 29 loss to UCLA, quarterback Zach Maynard was questioned about his play — and his starting position. The junior transfer threw four picks, and head coach Jeff Tedford famously said he would look at the tape to decide who would start against Washington State on Saturday.
Tedford eventually chose to keep Maynard as his starter, and Maynard did not let his coach down. He was an efficient 10-for-17 passing and threw for 118 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, he did not turn the ball over in the Bears’ bounce back blow out of the Cougars.
After the game, Maynard’s teammates and coach defended him, emphasizing their confidence in him.
Center Dominic Galas defended the man he snaps the ball to, saying that it is the people in the locker room who matter.
“I can’t say enough about Zach,” Galas said. “From the first game to right now, I never doubted Zach one second. I love him, and he’s our guy.”
Tedford talked about the difficulty of being a quarterback.
“It’s a tough position sometimes,” Tedford said. “More than anyone else, the focal point is typically the quarterback. To bounce back, it’s not easy.
“He doesn’t carry the burden of the team on his shoulders.”
Maynard himself talked about his feelings for the team, throwing in some not-so-subtle digs at the media.
“I love my team,” Maynard said. “They know that.
“Everybody has an opinion. Criticism — it’s all talk.”
Maynard was hit in the head during a fumble recovery and exited the game in the second half. His replacement, Allan Bridgford, was a modest 1-for-3 passing for five yards. His first pass attempt was swatted down by a Cougar lineman.
“He didn’t do much,” Tedford said. “At that point, we were trying to use clock. He managed it well.”
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