Cal hoping Ayoob is no ordinary Joe vs. UCLA

Cal coach Jeff Tedford has turned ordinary quarterbacks into stars. His next project is Joe Ayoob, who has a lot to prove against UCLA.

Originally Published: October 4, 2005
By Rod Gilmore | Special to ESPN.com
When No. 10 Cal visits No. 20 UCLA on Saturday, much will be made of the matchup of two outstanding running backs: Cal's Marshawn Lynch and UCLA's Maurice Drew. But that's the sideshow.

QB Joe Ayoob will be feeling the heat against UCLA.
QB Joe Ayoob will be feeling the heat against UCLA.
The real question is whether quarterback guru Jeff Tedford can once again create a star out of someone you haven't heard of before. That someone is Joe Ayoob.

Don't fret if you haven't heard of Ayoob. Not many folks outside of Berkeley have heard of him. Ayoob, a JC transfer from San Francisco City College, is the successor to former Cal quarterback (and Brett Favre understudy) Aaron Rodgers -- sort of. Ayoob "won" the job after Nate Longshore broke his leg in the season opener. But Tedford makes stars of guys like Ayoob all the time. For example, Rodgers had zero scholarship offers coming out of high school, but became a first round pick of the Green Bay Packers after just two years with Tedford.

Rod Gilmore

College Football analyst
Rod Gilmore serves as an ESPN studio analyst on SportsCenter and College Football Live, and provides commentary on ESPN's Friday night game telecasts. He writes regularly for ESPN Insider.