Cal State Long Beach, a team that was supposed to be pretty good this season but hadn’t been, returned from Hawaii last weekend with a stunning comeback victory and new hope.
Then the 49ers discovered that the player most responsible for that comeback, quarterback Doug Gaynor, was wearing a plastic cast on his throwing hand.
Gaynor, who sprained his wrist and thumb against Hawaii, couldn’t throw in practice this week, and it is uncertain whether he will play against Nevada Las Vegas in a Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. game at 7:30 tonight in the Sam Boyd Silver Bowl.
“We have confidence he will play,” Coach Mike Sheppard said.
If he can’t, the quarterback will be freshman Jeff Graham.
Gaynor, who has completed 67% of his passes this season for 862 yards and 5 touchdowns, threw for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns last week as the 49ers defeated the Rainbows, 33-30, after trailing in the second quarter, 23-0.
“We needed to know we could fight adversity, create our own luck and win,” Sheppard said.
The victory was the first of the season for the 49ers after losses to Utah State and San Diego State.
But under Sheppard, who is in his second season, Long Beach has yet to win a game against the PCAA’s stronger teams, one of which is Las Vegas.
The Rebels, who were undefeated league champions in 1984 before having to forfeit all their victories for using ineligible players, have started the season disappointingly. Like the 49ers, they are 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the PCAA. The Rebels lost at Wisconsin last week, 26-23.
Randall Cunningham’s successor at quarterback, Steve Stallworth, has completed 55 of 105 passes for 642 yards and 3 touchdowns.