The California Golden Bears might have some partial explanation as to why Zach Maynard tightened up early against the Oregon Ducks. The Cal quarterback apparently suffered a thigh contusion, which was more than enough to limit his effectiveness. Maynard's mechanics seemed to deteriorate as the game went on. He started missing throws, and abandoned proper footwork and proper throwing technique. If Maynard had been able to keep on throwing the ball properly, Cal might've been able to keep up with Oregon during their touchdown blitz.
There are conflicting reports as to the severity of the injury. Head coach Jeff Tedford said that Maynard's injury wasn't serious enough to inhibit his performance, but Maynard's brother Keenan Allen appeared to disagree. Jonathan Okanes of Contra Costa Times reports.
"He said he couldn’t throw off his foot. That’s why his passes were off," Allen said. "He tried to make the best of it. He definitely wanted to fight through it and help us out.
Maynard should not be limited against USC and should be fully recovered by Thursday night. Although Allan Bridgford showed some promise against an Oregon defense that was planning against the pass, Maynard's mobility could be what Cal finally needs to take down the Trojans.
For more on Maynard and the Golden Bears, go to the California Golden Blogs for more discussion.