Cal State Northridge will alternate quarterbacks Chris Parker and Danny Fernandez for at least two more games.
Both played last week in CSUN's 35-17 victory over Sonoma State, and Coach Bob Burt said he hasn't decided who will start Saturday night when the Matadors make their home debut against Cal State Hayward at North Campus Stadium. Burt thinks he can win with either Parker or Fernandez.
"Who knows, maybe we'll have the quarterbacks run in the plays," he said.
He was kidding, but there is precedent for such a plan.
Florida State was 11-0 in the regular season and earned an Orange Bowl bid in 1979 when it alternated quarterbacks Wally Woodham and Jimmy Jordan. Woodham's strong points were his ability to run the ball and read defenses. Jordan had a strong arm, but little mobility.
"Sometimes, we'd put Woodham into a game for the first three or four series just to see what was going on," said Wayne Hogan, the school's sports information director. "Then he'd come off the field and explain to Jordan what the defense was doing."
The differences between Parker and Fernandez seem to be minimal. Both run and pass well. Burt's offensive strategy against Sonoma State didn't seem to vary according to who was the quarterback.
Burt hopes to decide on a starter before CSUN's conference opener Oct. 4 at Southern Utah State.
But, he said, "It's a nice problem to have."
At Valley and Moorpark, the quarterback position also is unsettled.
In Moorpark's 20-7 loss to Harbor last week, starter Dan Nagelmann was intercepted twice, Steve Armstrong was intercepted three times and Steve Haddad didn't complete any of his five attempts.
Competition for the job continues Saturday at Compton.
In Valley's 16-14 loss to Ventura, John Watkins replaced starter Josh Davis at halftime and engineered both of the Monarchs' touchdown drives. But Coach Chuck Ferraro said he had planned all along to use both quarterbacks.
Add quarterback watch: Cal Lutheran's Tom Bonds was named Western Football Conference offensive player of the week after completing 20 of 37 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday in the Kingsmen's 31-0 win over San Francisco State.
Meanwhile, Cal Lutheran linebacker Terry Rowe, who had a 64-yard interception return for a touchdown and a fumble recovery that set up a field goal, was named NAIA national defensive player of the week.
Stats: Mike Kane's 122 rushing yards for CSUN last week represented 26% of his rushing output for all of last season, when he ran for 481 yards. Last year, he ran for 147 yards against Sonoma. He is CSUN's all-time leading rusher with 2,129 yards. . . . Here's a switch: CSUN was second in the WFC in passing last season and next to last in rushing. After one game this season, the Matadors are last in passing, but first in rushing.
Around the WFC: Western Football Conference teams are 5-3-1 in nonconference action. All three losses were to Division I opponents. Sacramento State lost to Pacific, 31-7, in its opener two weeks ago, and Portland State has lost to Idaho, 42-10, and Nevada Las Vegas, 51-14.
Santa Clara defeated Southern Utah State, 31-18, in the only conference game so far. Southern Utah was making its WFC debut in the game.
Santa Clara quarterback Greg Calcagno, who was second among Division II quarterbacks in passing efficiency last season, got off to a slow start last week. He completed only 14 of 32 attempts for 188 yards. Bronco strong safety Dan McFarland, who had 10 tackles and intercepted a pass, was named WFC defensive player of the week.
Sacramento State, the preseason choice of WFC coaches to win the conference, watched its first win of the season slip away when Mesa (Colo.) College drove 93 yards for a field goal that tied the game with two seconds left. . . . Pat Degnan, quarterbacks coach at Northridge, was an assistant at Mesa last season.
Portland State has a new head coach, Pokey Allen, but the tradition of passing continues. Chris Crawford has attempted 64 passes in two games, completing 39 for 440 yards and two touchdowns.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Coach Jim Sanderson was worried that quarterback Robert Perez and tailback Jim Gleed might be academically ineligible. Both players made the grade, however, and were instrumental in the Mustangs' 26-18 win over Chico State. Perez passed for 215 yards and Gleed rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
Five CSUN women's volleyball players share a house in Northridge, including four who are vying for two positions--left-side hitters Anna Garcia and Karen Langston and setters Angela Brinton and Kristin Choate.
No problems so far, though.
"I just think the right type of people are living here," said Karen Lontka, the fifth roommate. "We're not on the court saying, 'Damn it, you didn't wash the dishes,' or, 'I told you to lock the door,' and all that. We bring the court home to an extent, but you can't really be too sensitive around us because you're going to lose if you are."
Cal Lutheran's soccer team, which is 5-0 after a 6-0 victory Tuesday over Whittier College, is off to its best start in seven years. Last season, the Kingsmen were 5-13-2. This season, they've given up only two goals.
The cross-country teams at CSUN made their debuts last Sunday at the UCLA Invitational. Freshman Darcy Arreola, who finished fourth in the women's race, was CSUN's top finisher. Dave Walsh finished 10th among the men.
John Tronson scored his first goal of the season in CSUN's 3-0 soccer victory over Claremont on Monday, moving to within nine goals of the school record. His 36th career goal came on an assist from Jose Diaz. CSUN (2-1-1) will travel to Fresno State on Saturday and to Cal on Sunday.