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Devon Modster announced as starting quarterback for Cal against Washington State

California quarterback Devon Modster (6) passes against the Oregon State in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Berkeley, Calif., Saturday, October 19, 2019. (John Hefti / AP)
California quarterback Devon Modster (6) passes against the Oregon State in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Berkeley, Calif., Saturday, October 19, 2019. (John Hefti / AP)

BERKELEY, Calif. – Devon Modster is getting the starting nod at quarterback for Cal in Saturday’s game against Washington State, coach Justin Wilcox announced Friday.

There had been some speculation as to whether it would be Modster or freshman Spencer Brasch starting against the Cougars, due to an unspecified injury that kept Modster out of Cal’s game against Utah on Oct. 26.

Wilcox told reporters Wednesday Modster had been cleared to play, and the Golden Bears knew who their starting QB would be at that point, but the coach said Cal wouldn’t release the news until Friday, presumably so WSU would have less time to prepare.

Modster has played in three games and made two starts for the Golden Bears since starting QB Chase Garbers left a game against Arizona State with a shoulder injury. Garbers is expected to return at some point this season, but he wasn’t cleared in time to play in Saturday’s game against the Cougars.

Cal was tied against ASU when Modster entered the game, but wound up losing 24-17, as the UCLA transfer completed just 5-of-14 passes for 23 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.

In his two starts, Modster completed 29-of-61 passes for 341 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The dual-threat quarterback also rushed 29 times for 106 yards in those games.

Asked about preparing for all three Cal QBs – Modster, Brasch and Garbers – WSU interim defensive coordinator Roc Bellantoni indicated the players are similar enough that the Bears don’t change their offensive scheme depending on who’s in the game.

“We watched every game of the season, every snap of the season,” Bellantoni said. “It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Garbers ran out there and played. I guess Modster will probably be back after his injury, but we don’t really know who’s going to be out there. The one thing with them is they don’t really change their style. It’s not like they have Lamar Jackson, who can run a lot better than the other guys. Now Modster will run the ball a little more than the others, but they don’t really change styles.”

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