Goff leads Golden Bears with skill and finesse

By Dominic Clark, www.ArmedForcesBowl.com

Not since Aaron Rodgers has a Cal quarterback produced such conference recognition like Jared Goff.

Goff was justifiably a first-team All-Pac 12 selection this season as a junior.  The last Cal quarterback to receive the honor was in 2004 by Rodgers, the future hall of famer now playing for the Green Bay Packers.  Goff will surely add to his California legacy on December 29 when the Golden Bears meet Air Force in the 13th Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.

Seemingly setting a record each time he profoundly picks up the pigskin, the 6-4 Goff completed 316 of 492 passes (64.2 percent) this season for 4,252 yards (fourth nationally) with 37 touchdowns (third in the nation).  With a 156.4 passing efficiency rating this season, Goff has broken his  own single-season school records for passing yards, TD passes, TDs responsible for and total offense.

Goff has started 36-straight games at Cal and holds 26 school records, including completions (952 of 1,532 attempts), passing yards (11,733) and touchdown tosses (90) and total offense (11,635 yards).  He has completed 62.1 percent of his career passes with only 30 interceptions in three seasons.

For the 2015 season, Goff had six games where his completion percentage was 70.3 percent or higher with bests of 75.0 in the season-opener against Grambling State (24 of 32 with 309 yards and three TDs) and 74.2 percent against USC (23 of 31 with 277 yards and two TDs).

In his last three regular season games, Goff threw for 453 yards at home against Oregon State (a 54-24 Cal victory), 386 yards in a road setback at Stanford (35-22) and 542 yards in a Berkeley win against Arizona State (48-46).  While stats count, the impression of the two coaches in the game might mean even more.

“He’s a unique player,” said Cal coach Sonny Dykes.  “I’ve been really fortunate to work with a lot of good quarterbacks and Jared is one of the best.  I think it all starts with his preparation and the work that he does on a day-to-day basis.  He’s getting to live his dream and play for the Golden Bears.”

Dykes added that Goff “had to play as a true freshman and we were not a very good as a team.  He gained some invaluable experience that first year and really grew up and got tough mentally.  Jared is a guy physically that do everything you want him to do.  He can make all the throws.  He’s the best quarterback in the pocket that I’ve ever seen.”

From the other side of the ball, Air Force’s coach Troy Calhoun said Goff is a “remarkable player.  Tremendous arm, accurate passer and a guy that gets it down the field.  A guy that’s got great feel in the pocket. He makes in-rhythm throws, yet at the same time it’s the things that he does that drives you absolutely nuts that are out of design and create a little more space and bigger plays.”

The stats say it.  The coaches believe it.  Now it’s the fan’s time to enjoy it!