Maynard Mondays Week 2: More Maynard mediocrity

Zach Maynard drives an invisible car — ahem, drives his team to a 50-31 win.
Derek Remsburg/Senior Staff
Zach Maynard drives an invisible car — ahem, drives his team to a 50-31 win.

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So here’s the deal: Zach Maynard is not a terrible quarterback. He is certainly not a Joe Ayoob or Nate Longshore, and for that the Cal faithful won’t call for his head.

However, he’s never going to be Aaron Rodgers. Hate to break it to you, Zach. But all dreams must die.

So, that being said, Maynard performed just on par with mediocre in Saturday’s abysmal showcase against Southern Utah.

Here are his stats: He went 17-for-23 and 229 yards. He also had 39 yards rushing. That looks pretty decent for a man who will never be the second coming of Christ —  I mean Aaron Rodgers.

But I’m demanding you do a double-take right now. Scan over those stats again. And remember, who exactly was Cal playing on Saturday?

That’s right. The Thunderbirds. An FCS team. And for three whole quarters, the Thunderbirds held Cal to an exasperatingly close game.

Maynard shouldn’t be 17-for-23. He should be 23-for-23 and about three billion yards. His team should have trampled and extinguished Southern Utah.

Instead, he had one sack and one interception. What’s up with that? How was his line unable to prevent an opponent from breaking through?

And that interception? It’s actually laughably unbelievable. Pull a Tedford and look at the tape. After Maynard passes to freshman phenom Chris Harper, the latter runs it all the way to the end zone —  only to have it called back for a penalty.

So what does Maynard do? He tries to outsmart the lesser foe and call the same exact play again. And do you know what happens?

A Thunderbird comes tearing out of nowhere —  seriously, where was the offensive line? —  and grabs Maynard’s pass out of the air. Not so much grabs as completely denies its forward trajectory.

Now, let’s examine Southern Utah’s quarterback, Brad Sorensen. There’s actually legitimate talk that Sorensen is an NFL prospect —  which is more than Maynard can say of himself.

Sorensen’s numbers from Saturday were commendable: 31-for-45 and 292 yards. He also had a Hail Mary pass that left me impressed; hey, I’m a sucker for a good Hollywood-esque play.

He managed to not only keep up with Maynard but definitely surpass him as far as polish goes. Sorensen appeared in control throughout the game.

Maynard, meanwhile, had one memorable play in which he scrambled out of the pocket — will he ever find comfort there? — and nearly caused major loss of yards before finding a receiver. Scrambles don’t deserve completions, plain and simple.

Don’t let the final lopsided 50-31 score dumbfound you. Cal didn’t show up on Saturday.

Cal football: Where struggling against Southern Utah happened.

Annie Gerlach is the sports editor. Contact her at [email protected].

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  • Blue_Wave

    Ummm, Annie? Yeah, hi there. You can probably tell by the comments that your article had significant problems. Many significant problems. From basic misunderstanding of sports to a complete and utter display of, well, stupidity in regards to your characterization of Longshore. Others have done a great job of taking you to (well deserved) task for that. Face it, as a sports journalist you pretty much flat out suck. S-U-C-K. Sorry, but it had to be said. But beyond that, your writing is, well, ummm, not good. Not good at all. Listen, I’m not trying to be mean, but your snarky voice and trying-to-be-clever use of phrases like “What’s up with that?” tend to undermine whatever point you’re trying to make. You may want to consider moving to a different department if you intend on keeping your journalist dreams alive, because you definitely are no Oscar Madison. However, I’d recommend changing your focus entirely. I hear Poli-Sci is a very good major. Maybe you’d like that? Because this writing thing … not for you, sister. Not at all.

  • mkivsuptt

    “That looks pretty decent for a man who will never be the second coming of Christ — I mean Aaron Rodgers.”
    “Scrambles don’t deserve completions, plain and simple.”

    Annie, you realize that Aaron Rodgers has been known to scramble and that he completes passes while on the run? Are you really this stupid?

  • mkivsuptt

    So here’s the deal: Annie Gerlach IS a terrible sports writer. If she has aspirations of being a journalist, she should just let those dreams die.

  • Norman

    Annie,

    Please get your facts straight before you say things that are wrong. Longshore was amazing before Tedford decided to ruin his confidence by creating an unnecessary quarterback controversy between him and Kevin Riley and before his injury. In my opinion, Zack Maynard is the most inconsistent quarterback after Joe Ayoob.

    You suggest that we should keep Tedford for the remainder of his contract and then fire him. If you believe that Cal can never succeed, why would you wanna fire him? What’s the point? If on the other hand you agree with the rest of us Cal fans and know that a great coach can really make the football program flourish, then why wait? You keep contradicting yourself.

  • CannonBlast

    And this little school girl is the sports editor….LOL. She was in junior high playing AYSO when Longshore played out of his mind @ Oregon. Lost me at “…certainly not a Joe Ayoob or Nate Longshore…”

    What’s up with singling out Maynard for the last two games. Have you seen the rest of the team play? Look at the defense. We have bigger problems than Maynard.

  • baffledbeer

    “Scrambles don’t deserve completions, plain and simple.” ? umm i’ll take any completion, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

  • bearswithfangs

    I honestly thought this was a parody article when I first read it. I then realized it was an attempt at actually analyzing Maynard’s play.
    Not sure what to make of statements like, “Scrambles don’t deserve completions, plain and simple.”
    If you went back and actually watched the film, Maynard only had two passes outside of the pocket. One was a scramble which he completed to Sofele for a first down, and the second was a designed bootleg to Allen.
    And I could be wrong, but it seemed like you blamed him for his line allowing an opponent for breaking through and then calling (what you perceived to be) the same play as the one negated for a TD. As Kodiak said, completely different plays.
    I’m also glad to read that you’re encouraged by quarterbacks who can complete hail marys.
    Please, watch the film again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vjzb94x_Os
    I’m not even close to arguing you have to say that Maynard is good. There’s nothing wrong with saying his play has been mediocre, but if you’re going to do so, you have to go back and really look at the film and see what the play design was, and how he responded accordingly. You can’t just say “he didn’t go ’23-23 and about billion yards’ so he’s not Aaron Rodgers.”

  • Umberto Juarez

    Maynard may not be the greatest QB but I bet he can write better articles than this.

  • Kodiak

    A couple of things: 1) Maynard doesn’t call his own plays. He has many faults, but the playcalling isn’t on him. 2) The negated TD was a bubble screen to a WR. The interception came on a standard roll-out screen to a back. Those are not even remotely the same plays.

  • Ian

    Terrible article. You are worse than mediocre as a sports writer.

  • Andrew

    This article fundamentally misunderstands what is wrong with Cal football, past and present. For example, Maynard’s 17/23 line is misleading partly because we played an FCS school, but also because most of his passes were <5 yards from the line of scrimmage. This article is snarky, I guess, but why don't you start a blog instead. And I would give my left something to get Nate Longshore '06 back. Maynard is an Ayoob.

  • Andrew

    This article fundamentally misunderstands what is wrong with Cal football, past and present. For example, Maynard’s 17/23 line is misleading partly because we played an FCS school, but also because most of his passes were <5 yards from the line of scrimmage. This article is snarky, I guess, but why don't you start a blog instead. And I would give my left something to get Nate Longshore '06 back. Maynard is an Ayoob.

  • Andrew

    This article fundamentally misunderstands what is wrong with Cal football, past and present. For example, Maynard’s 17/23 line is misleading partly because we played an FCS school, but also because most of his passes were <5 yards from the line of scrimmage. This article is snarky, I guess, but why don't you start a blog instead. And I would give my left something to get Nate Longshore '06 back. Maynard is an Ayoob.

  • Adam

    i remember when Kirk Herbstreit said that Longshore was the best sophomore QB in the nation. Many had him as a first or second round until he got injured against Oregon in 2007. Sure, he was terrible after he his ankle injury. But that doesn’t excuse Annie Gerlach from trashing a Cal alumnus who led us to a shared Pac-10 title in 2006, and a #2 national ranking in 2007 prior to his injury. Ms. Gerlach, you are a Cal student (and apparently a sports writer). Perhaps it would behoove you to do a little research so that you can at least pretend to know what you’re talking about before you impersonate a football commentator.

  • Rich

    Longshore was pretty good until he was injured. 2nd best qb in the Pac 10 in ’06. He’s no Ayoob.

  • CalBearz

    Props to taking a position in a culture that admires homerism, but you demonstrated your ignorance of Cal football and its recent history by stating Longshore was worse than Maynard, losing any and all credibility that you may have had. Your analysis was poor as well. Shame on you.

    Longshore was darn good on a darn good Cal team pre-injury, however overrated they were at the time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dmalone David W. Malone

    Nail, meet hammer.

  • Pixilicious

    The QB’s have been so bad for so long under Tedford’s program that it now seems clear that it isn’t the player, it is the program. And the dude running it.

    Don’t hate the player, hate the program.

  • BOE_Man

    If you had watched the Cal – Southern Utah game with no background on the teams, but a general knowledge of football, you might have assumed that all of Cal’s quarterbacks were injured and that Maynard was the courageous, uber-athletic defensive back or wide receiver who stepped up to fill the void.

  • alum

    Agreed, by now it would have been nice to see new Freshman talent being developed. Is there anyone in the pipeline?