BERKELEY, Calif. – As first impressions go, quarterbacks Jared Goff, Zach Kline and Austin Hinder all hit their marks during the first scrimmage of the spring Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
With roughly 300 fans in attendance to get their first look at coach Sonny Dykes’ Bear Raid spread offense in a live setting, all three threw touchdown passes on their opening drives as the offense got going early.
But Dykes was pleased with how the defense responded and came away mostly pleased with all involved, apart from a sudden rash of procedural penalties.
“We’re not anywhere close to where we need to be, but I like what I am seeing,” Dykes said.
Goff was the first man up at quarterback to see how he would respond, Dykes said, and the early enrollee from Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic was not flustered by the decision. He found sophomore receiver Bryce Treggs on a crossing route for a 32-yard touchdown to cap his initial drive, setting the stage for a largely positive performance.
“I knew we would be rotating, so it wasn’t that big of a deal,” Goff said. “I just went out there and did the things I had been doing all week. Just trying to do my job.”
Goff later added a 14-yard scoring pass to Jackson Bouza. His last attempt of the day also resulted in a touchdown, hitting Treggs on an 18-yard post pattern after getting one step behind the defense.
Goff completed 13-of-21 passes for 168 yards with no interceptions on five possessions, but felt there were some things he could have done better. Dykes, however, continues to be pleased with his seemingly effortless progression to the next level.
“The thing Jared has done that has been really impressive is he can come out here and you haven’t seen any drop-off from high school to this,” Dykes said. “He has been just as comfortable and calm. He has got a great demeanor and a lot of confidence. He just goes out and does what he does.”
Kline and Hinder also had their moments. Kline connected with a streaking Joel Willis wide open down the left hash mark for a 97-yard touchdown strike on his first throw, ending up 6-of-8 passing for 135 yards on four possessions, while Hinder (6-of-10, 85 yards on four possessions) found Maurice Harris in the back of the end zone for a 20-yard score.
“There were times where I had plays that worked other and there were times I made mistakes, but overall I thought it was a good day,” Hinder said. “All the quarterbacks did well. It just comes down to consistency.”
That assessment was more than evident when the offense slowed down with several bad snaps and high throws. The defense added to their issues by forcing running back Darren Ervin to fumble and intercepting a Kyle Boehm pass when linebacker Khairi Fortt stepped in front of an out route.
The offensive and defensive lines also struggled with penalties in stretches. On the first four drives alone, the defense jumped offsides three times, while the front five had three false starts, two to open up a Hinder drive that ended as a three-and-out.
“We have to play like we practice,” Dykes said. Today, all of a sudden, we get in a scrimmage situation and we get more offsides penalties and more false starts. That was the only thing I was disappointed in.”
With the first depth chart on track to be released Monday – one that is unlikely to feature much separation, especially at quarterback, Dykes cautioned – there were enough positives to leave him in an upbeat mood.
“All in all, for a scrimmage after six practices I thought it was pretty good,” Dykes said.
“We’re not anywhere close to where we need to be, but I like what I am seeing.”
Dan Greenspan writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.