Three days and counting before the Ducks square off against the California Golden Bears in Berkeley and there's still no official word on who will be Cal's starting quarterback when the game kicks off. After suffering an apparent injury to his left knee last Friday in a loss versus Washington, Zach Maynard could be sidelined in favor of Allan Bridgeford, who replaced Maynard late in the fourth quarter against the Huskies. Though there may be differences stylistically between Maynard and Bridgeford, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly said Wednesday that he isn't concerning himself with trying to prepare for one quarterback or the other.
Whether it's Zach Maynard or Allan Bridgeford under center for Cal on Saturday, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly says his team will be prepared.
"You can't pay attention to any of that stuff," said Kelly following practice. "It doesn't mean anything. You can't change your offense that drastically and of the sudden you're going to become "this" in such a short amount of time.
"Bridgeford's played -- he played in the opening game against Nevada in the first quarter, he played against us last year at the end of the game, he came in against Washington at the end of the game -- so we've got tape on him and we have an understanding of the differences between him and Zach."
Kelly called Bridgeford "more of a dropback guy" compared to Maynard, who relies more on his mobility.
"He's got a nice release," said Kelly of Bridgeford. "He throws a nice ball -- a very catchable ball -- and it seems like he's pretty accurate. He's been [at Cal] for awhile, so it's not like he's a young kid...He's real well schooled and he knows how to play quarterback."
While it's not expected to be a factor this weekend in Berkeley, a popular topic of conversation following practice Wednesday was the controversy during the Ducks last trip to Cal. In that game, a defensive player for Cal was caught feigning an injury called in from the sidelines from former defensive line coach, Tosh Lupoi. Though Lupoi is no longer a coach at Cal, curiosity surrounding the issue of faking injuries to help stem the pace of the Oregon offense remains. According to Kelly, since that incident, he hasn't noticed any further cases of players faking injuries in order to give the defense a rest.
"Since then, I haven't seen it," Kelly stated. "We had a directive in our league and I think it's been cleaned up since then...We played [Cal] last year and it was a good battle, they competed really hard.
"We had seen it a lot more before that. Cal was the only one that someone did something about it, but there were a couple instances before we played Cal...They weren't the first to try that tactic."