The price is wrong in QB duel


Two names that could sell Daewoos but not Chryslers, shrimp poppers but not scallops, Lenovos but not Macs.

It’s the Tuesday Night Atlantic City undercard, the Billy Ray Cyrus opening act, the 1:30 matinee of anything starring Tara Reid.

You’ll probably see something unusual, get maybe a cheap laugh or two, but don’t arrive expecting to be impressed.

Saturday afternoon’s quarterback matchup is about as underwhelming as it gets. Two transfers playing in a transfer stadium in a battle of two winless conference teams.

And just an hour away in Palo Alto and starting just an hour later, we have Luck-Price. Now that’s the shine of a Benz, the crispness of a Benjamin and the glitz of the Bellagio.

I’m not sure how even the most loyal Bears and Utes won’t flip to Stanford-Washington during the commercial break.

Because Saturday’s snoozer at AT&T Park is a chance for two struggling teams to improve, and it’s probably going to be ugly. And it all starts with the signal-callers.

You see, it takes three things for a college football team to be really successful: a quarterback, a quarterback and not Brock Mansion.

And until further notice, Zach Maynard and Jon Hays do not adequately fulfill that title. Not yet at least.

When USC linebacker Dion Bailey intercepted Zach Maynard’s pass in the end zone right before halftime of the Trojans’ 30-9 thrashing of Cal last Thursday, Bailey’s ensuing celebration was pure, unbridled joy.

It was the type of reaction a woman has to winning the Publishers Clearing House, a Maury guest has when learning he is NOT the father and that lucky Price Is Right contestant that actually gets to play Plinko.

It was not merely surprise. It was the thrill that emits from shock. Because the ball doesn’t usually go there. It doesn’t usually go into triple coverage several times per game.

Maynard nourished a turnover-starved USC defense, and the Trojan bench celebrated like Tom Hanks making fire for himself and Wilson.

Maynard’s subpar quarterbacking quickly set any hopes of a Cal victory ablaze, and I’m still determining if his play on Thursday night gave me the mumps.

It’s nothing personal. I like Zach Maynard. I like his composure, his honesty and his ability to throw on the run. But his mechanics aren’t there. Not yet at least. Not until he gets rid of that pocket Riverdance. Or those throws that hit the other guys right in the abdomen.

Luckily, Maynard has strong competition in Saturday’s race to the bottom.
He’s the former quarterback of Butte College and once the captain of a ship that would crash into budget cuts. No, it’s not Aaron Rodgers. It’s Jon “Don’t Call Me Rutherford B.” Hays.

Hays initially earned a scholarship to attend University of Nebraska-Omaha, but the team cut its football program two months after he committed.
That’s not the mumps, Jon. That’s just the vasocongestion (look it up on WebMD) from the Mavericks’ coaching staff.

It looked like Hays’ Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters to the NCAA was just a brick wall until the Utes surprisingly came calling. When starting quarterback Jordan Wynn was lost for the season after injuring his left shoulder, head coach Kyle Whittingham called on Hays so he could throw interceptions at the Pac-12 level.

He threw three picks in his first collegiate start against Arizona State. He threw a touchdown pass last Saturday against Pitt, one that deflected off of a Panther linebacker’s hand before finding the Ute receiver.

It’s an opportunity for two inexperienced quarterbacks to mature, but it’s unclear whether either has what it takes to ever thrive in this conference.

It’s Hays-Maynard, after all.

It’s nothing fancy.