SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) — Quarterback C.J. Beathard is making his case to be the 49ers backup, and he’s doing with help from an old friend.

Saturday at Levi’s Stadium, Beathard found tight end George Kittle for a 29-yard touchdown. It was the 49ers only touchdown from scrimmage in the 33-14 loss to the Denver Broncos.

It wasn’t the first time Beathard hit Kittle for a touchdown — in fact its 12th time the duo has found an end zone connection. From 2013-2016 they played together for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes and were both drafted by the 49ers in April. Beathard in the third round, Kittle in the fifth.

After four years wearing Iowa black and gold, their relationship hasn’t changed much since donning the scarlet and gold in the NFL.

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – OCTOBER 15: George Kittle #46 of the Iowa Hawkeyes runs with a reception 22 yards for a first down against the Purdue Boilermakers in the first half of the game at Ross-Ade Stadium on October 15, 2016 in West Lafayette, Indiana. Iowa defeated Purdue 49-35. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

PISCATAWAY, NJ – SEPTEMBER 24: C.J. Beathard #16 of the Iowa Hawkeyes celebrates the win with fans after the game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at High Point Solutions Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Piscataway, New Jersey.The Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 14-7. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

“He is the most competitive person I’ve ever met in my life,” said Kittle. “He’ll get upset about a ping-pong game… playing video games.”

That competitive nature has played out on the football field. Beathard leads the 49ers with 211 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Beathard is competing with Matt Barkley to be Brian Hoyer’s backup.

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