The transition to Nate Longshore from Aaron Rodgers appeared seamless as Longshore finished a nifty half-rollout with a deep completion in his first start as California's quarterback, prompting the crowd at Memorial Stadium to erupt in the 2005 season opener.
Longshore was the chosen one, the next great passer for quarterbacks guru and head coach Jeff Tedford.
Then -- snap -- his ascension ended just moments after that 40-yard completion, his 11th career pass, left his hand. He was tackled from behind by a Sacramento State defender. His fibula was cracked and ligaments in his left foot were torn. He crumbled to the ground while stubbornly trying to walk off the field.