QBs - Jared Goff

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By Ted Lee
Posted Sep 2, 2015
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2016 BearInsider.com


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QB Jared Goff scrambles -Photo by GoldenBearSports.com

While players generally cover a spectrum of highs and lows during their football careers, it's unusual for a player to go through what Jared Goff has gone through since arriving Cal.

After arriving on campus early to work with then-new head coach Sonny Dykes, Goff experienced the ultimate trial-by-fire, starting as a freshman as he and the rest of the Golden Bears took their lumps with a 1-11 record. With the team learning a new offense, along with an already-thin defense that was decimated with injuries, the Bears struggled. But a key benefit from that season was that a lot of younger players were able to play and develop an understanding of what would be expected from them week-in and week-out.

Cal improved to 5-7 last season and with a slightly better defense could have easily could have had seven or eight wins. Key to the Bears' improvement was the development of Goff – while he showed he could make a wide range of throws during his freshman year, last season he had the benefit of a better offensive line and a decent running game. Working with a number of big receivers, he was successful in throwing a number of balls that only they could reach, and his decision-making improved to the point where the Bears took relatively few three-and-outs, which can be lethal to a team that passes the ball a lot.

Bear receivers have been a fixture on ESPN's top plays the past couple of falls, and while the emphasis has always been on the catch – in each case it was a Goff pass, and an understanding between quarterback and receiver that led to the touchdown.

Goff also threw very few bad balls last season. While it's easy to note that he threw for 35 touchdowns compared to just 7 interceptions, it's worth nothing that those seven interceptions came out of 509 pass attempts.

As the Bears attempt to continue their ascent in college football, Goff's playing is drawing notice. Earlier this week, both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay listed Goff as a top 10 prospect for the 2016 NFL draft, but appearing high on a September list really only matters until October. But players that are regarded highly generally appear on winning teams; for a player to be honored they generally have to be on a successful or very successful team, with the argument being that how much value could a player add to his team if the team didn't finish up with a winning record.

Nonetheless, in early September, we're talking about a quarterback who's gone from starting for what would be one of the worst teams in the country that year who's now a solid candidate to be a high draft choice and possibly the top quarterback taken in the next year's NFL draft. 

However there's still a season to be played.

Last season's 5-7 becomes a 6-6 team that would have headed to a bowl game if the Bear defense could have knocked down a desperation pass on the last play of the game. Players, especially quarterbacks, have to be true standouts, if they want to stay in the discussion for best players in the country, if they're not on a winning team.

But with a line that doesn't have to rebuilt, most of the skill players on offense returning, the key element preventing the Bears from a move up the Pac-12 is a slightly better defense.

Yet Cal also has the issue of unfortunate timing. The conference is currently in a cycle where there are several strong teams – last season there were six teams that were in the top 25, and eight teams that had eight or more wins. Even the two weaker conference teams that the Bears played – Colorado and Washington State – were teams that they narrowly defeated.

Because a player's national perception is tied into the team's success – there's this strange dynamic where the better the defense is, the better a season Jared Goff will appear to be having.

For Goff, as well as the Bears, the breakthrough will come when they beat a clearly better team. From 2013 to 2014, games that were blowout losses the first year were considerably more competitive the following season. Still, during the past two seasons, in October and November, the Bears are 2-14.

Similarly, Goff's performance dropped in the second half – he went from a quarterback rating of 190.1 in August/September games, to 143.2 in October games, to 122.7 in November. Part of it was due to tougher competition; the Bears were still a young team and a five-game stretch late in the season that includes UCLA, Oregon, USC, and Stanford is bound to take a toll.

A couple of things to note: Goff's QB ratings were actually higher on the road (152.9) than they were at home (147.1) – last year's road games included games at Arizona and USC. He also had his best rushing game in the last game of the season against BYU with seven carries for 23 yards. As increasingly efficient as Cal's passing game has become – opposing defenses will attempt to pressure Goff, and there'll be occasions, when it may throw off the defense, if he pulls the ball down and takes off with it. Nobody's expecting him to finish the season with 400 yards rushing; and he'd have to learn to minimize risk – but it gives the defense another element to think about. The only other game where he had double digit rushing yards was against Sacramento State.

Goff will continue to shred Cal passing records throughout the season – and while an argument can only be made that his season and career records will only matter to the extent that the team enjoys success on the field, one can also make the season that the Bears have made it through the most difficult part of the turnaround, and for a team to have success, they need to have a quality quarterback.

And that they certainly do.

 

Jared Goff
California
Opponent A C Comp Yds YPA TD INT QBR Att. Car.
Northwestern 34 21 61.8% 281 8.3 3 1 154.4 4 -1
Sacramento St. 22 17 77.3% 229 10.4 4 0 224.7 2 17
Arizona 30 18 60.0% 380 12.7 3 1 192.7 4 -28
Colorado 42 24 57.1% 458 10.9 7 1 199.0 3 -12
Washington St. 53 37 69.8% 527 9.9 5 0 184.5 1 -9
Washington 51 35 68.6% 304 6.0 0 0 118.7 8 -39
UCLA 41 25 61.0% 303 7.4 2 1 134.3 6 -1
Oregon 52 32 61.5% 360 6.9 2 0 132.4 5 -1
Oregon St. 47 24 51.1% 277 5.9 1 0 107.6 4 1
USC 46 29 63.0% 279 6.1 3 0 135.5 7 -3
Stanford 31 16 51.6% 182 5.9 1 2 98.7 4 9
BYU 60 38 63.3% 393 6.6 4 1 137.0 7 23

509 316 62.1% 3973 7.8 35 7 147.6 55 -44

 


A C Comp Yds YPA TD INT QBR Car. Yds
Home 247 155 62.8% 1869 7.6 18 4 147.1 30 -26
Away 210 129 61.4% 1744 8.3 15 2 152.9 20 -40
Neutral 52 32 61.5% 360 6.9 2 0 132.4 5 -1
TOTAL 509 316 62.1% 3973 7.8 35 6 148.0 55 -67
                     

A C Comp Yds YPA TD INT QBR Car. Yds
Wins 198 123 62.1% 1772 8.9 20 2 168.6 14 -4
Losses 311 193 62.1% 2201 7.1 15 5 134.2 41 -40
TOTAL 509 316 62.1% 3973 7.8 35 7 147.6 55 -44
                     

A C Comp Yds YPA TD INT QBR Car. Yds
Top 25 170 102 60.0% 1124 6.6 8 3 127.5 22 4
26-99 317 197 62.1% 2620 8.3 23 4 153.0 31 -48
>100 22 17 77.3% 229 10.4 4 0 224.7 2 17
Top 25 Tot 509 316 62.1% 3973 7.8 35 7 147.6 55 -44
                     

A C Comp Yds YPA TD INT QBR Car. Yds
Aug/Sep 128 80 62.5% 1348 10.5 17 3 190.1 13 -24
Oct 197 129 65.5% 1494 7.6 9 1 143.2 20 -50
Nov 184 107 58.2% 1131 6.1 9 3 122.7 22 30
TOTAL 509 316 62.1% 3973 7.8 35 7 147.6 55 -44
                     

A C Comp Yds YPA TD INT QBR Car. Yds
First Half 232 152 65.5% 2179 9.4 22 3 173.1 22 -72
Second Half 277 164 59.2% 1794 6.5 13 4 126.2 33 28
TOTAL 509 316 62.1% 3973 7.8 35 7 147.6 55 -44

 

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