Sept. 21, 1999
Berkeley - Head coach Tom Holmoe announced today that freshman Kyle Boller would get his first collegiate start in Cal's Pac-10 opener against Arizona State this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Memorial Stadium.
Boller, who was one of the nation's top recruits out of Hart HS in southern California this past year, has seen action in both of Cal's first two games in relief of sophomore Sam Clemons. He completed his first five passes in the Rutgers opener on Sept. 5, including a career best 26-yarder on his first college attempt, finishing the day 8-of-15 for 89 yards and a TD. Two weeks ago, he entered the Nebraska game at the start of the second half with the Bears behind the Cornhuskers 28-0. In that game he completed 2-of-10 passes for 21 yards.
"Our offense needs a spark and were hopeful Kyle can provide that boost," said Holmoe. "He's looked more and more comfortable during the last two weeks as he's gotten more reps with the first unit.
"We know he's going to continue to have some growing pains and will be much better as his college career continues, but we also feel he deserves the chance to play as a starter now and see if he can help our offense."
Boller, who threw for an amazing 59 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions as a prep senior last fall, will face an Arizona State defense that ranks No. 7 in the Pac-10 in total defense, giving up an average of 407.0 ypg in the first two games. The Sun Devils are first in pass defense yardage, giving up 172.0 yards a game while allowing opponents to complete just 40.4 percent of their passes.
Holmoe also announced that Juan Jimenez would start at inside linebacker in place of Matt Beck, who underwent surgery this morning to repair a damaged ligament in his left foot. The head coach also said that Yauger Williams would likely start at offensive guard in place of Brandon Ludwig who is questionable with a sore shoulder/neck.