Cal football is gearing up for the 2023 season, and the Bears named their starting quarterback for the opener Thursday morning.

Head coach Justin Wilcox announced that Sam Jackson V — a program newcomer after transferring from TCU — officially earned the starting gig. Jackson beat out Ben Finley and Fernando Mendoza for the honor.

“We had an intense three-way quarterback competition during training camp,” Wilcox said. “All three did a great job, and I have a great deal of confidence in all of them. But Sam began to separate himself recently. He is a dynamic athlete who can succeed both in the passing game and by making defenses account for his outstanding running ability. When your quarterback does both of those things well, it can be challenging for the defense. I’m excited to see what he does with this opportunity.”

Jackson will lead the Bears offense onto the field for the season opener at North Texas. That game is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 2 at 1 pm PT.

Wilcox and the Golden Bears are looking to turn things around after a 4-8 record a season ago. The offense underwhelmed with 23.9 points per game during the 2022 season and will try to bounce back under Jackson’s guidance.