By the end of September, Jared Goff should own nearly every significant Cal passing record. But in two seasons as the Bears’ starting quarterback, Goff’s record is 6-18, and that’s not what he nor those around the gifted junior want to see this season.
“I don’t want to be a guy who came here and got a bunch of stats and didn’t win a bunch of games,” Goff said. “I want to bring Cal a winning culture.”
The Marin Catholic High grad has passed for 7,481 yards — more than any quarterback in Pac-12 history through his sophomore season — and 53 touchdowns, so Goff is hardly to blame for the .250 winning percentage he and coach Sonny Dykes have assembled in their two years together.
Being asked in 2013 to lead the team as an 18-year-old freshman hasn’t helped. A defense that ranked as the nation’s worst last year, when it surrendered 61 touchdowns, has been another problem.
Cal’s offense, which scored 59 touchdowns last season, should continue to flourish in 2015 with Goff surrounded by seven returning starters, including senior running back Daniel Lasco, an all-Pac-12 honorable mention last year, and three experienced receivers.
The next step for Goff?
“Now you want to see his leadership,” said Bucky Brooks, a media analyst for the NFL Network. “Does he have the ability to put them on his back and kind of turn around the program by his performance?”
Said ESPN game analyst Brock Huard, “When it matters the most, in those moments when you have to do it, he has to deliver. On those third downs, in the fourth quarter, on those game-winning drives, you don’t have to be super human but you have to be at your sharpest. That’s how you become a first-rounder.”
That’s also how Goff can achieve his goal of joining the pantheon of Cal quarterback greats such as Aaron Rodgers, Joe Roth and Joe Kapp, all of whom directed successful teams.
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