It's Maynard or Bust For Bears

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By Jim McGill, Staff Writer
Posted Oct 30, 2012
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2014 BearInsider.com


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QB Zach Maynard on the move
As has been the case for several games this year, senior quarterback Zach Maynard struggled mightily for much of Cal's disappointing 49-27 loss to Utah in Salt Lake last weekend.

However, based on Cal head coach Jeff Tedford's comments at today's weekly press conference at Memorial Stadium, don't look for any changes at the position in the near future.

As has often been the case this season, Maynard's final stats don't accurately gauge his performance for much of the game.

Until going 10-for-14 for 138 yards and two touchdowns in Cal's last two possessions after the game fell out of reach at 49-13, the senior quarterback was just 8-for-18 for 140 yards and an interception heading into the 4th quarter.

With the Utah defense seemingly playing off the ball to prevent quick, deep scores, Maynard was finally able to generate some offense but it was too little, too late.

"No, that's not true. They played the same defense they played all game," said Tedford, disagreeing with the assertion that Utah went to a prevent defense in the 4th quarter.

"Zach threw some balls behind and one that got tipped (by receiver Keenan Allen, resulting in an interception) but he did everything he could do.

"They didn't play prevent defense.

"We finally got good field position and got rhythm and a flow and got going in the 4th quarter but that was there only defense, not prevent defense."

So is the plan to stick with Maynard going forward, even if he continues to struggle?

"We'll see how that goes but what was he, 18-of-31?" said Tedford. "I thought he did a good job.

"He was sacked three or four times early but he hung in there and didn't lose his composure and threw a lot of good balls so he's our quarterback and he's played pretty well so I'm not going in with that preconceived notion or anything like that. He's our quarterback and we expect him to execute and run the offense like he's done a pretty good job of."

However, fans observing the game saw an array of overthrows and a general lack of rhythm and ability to sustain drives through the air -a common theme for Maynard throughout much of the season.

With a roster full of highly-rated recruits ready to make their mark, none so much as warmed up on the sideline outside of a few throws by primary backup Allan Bridgford, even with the Bears falling behind 42-6 late in the 4th quarter, with not enough remaining possessions available to stage a comeback victory.

Wouldn't it have made sense to get any of the other quarterbacks some valuable playing time to develop them for the future and see what they could do to spark the team? 

"No, the plan was to continue to play him and try to come back," said Tedford."

Based on what we've ssen so far this season, there appears to be no reason to believe last weekend's plan won't be the plan going forward.

Though the team's offensive woes can't entirely be pinned on Maynard, especially with the struggles experienced by the offensive line, much of it can be, with a steady diet of overthrows and lack of ability to sustain drives through the air throughout much of the year.

With a fan base that's essentially lost all patience with Tedford and company this year, just the act of trying something new at the quarterback position could go a long way in assuring people that the head man was doing all he could do right the ship instead of sticking to business as usual -which is clearly not working, with the Bears falling to a Tedford career-worst 3-6 record with three games to go.

Even if there was not a change made in the starting quarterback position all season, it might make sense to at least try to look for another hot hand if or when Maynard struggles -as so many other programs won't hesitate to do when down. But alas, that does not seem to be in the cards in this season of monumental struggle for the Bears.

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