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Football: Goff goes from timid to team captain

Running back Daniel Lasco has a vivid image of Cal quarterback Jared Goff’s demeanor in his debut game as a freshman last season against Northwestern.

“He was very timid. He had a lot on his plate. Just nervous. He was afraid to make mistakes – that was the biggest thing I saw in him,” Lasco said Tuesday as the Bears continued preparation for this season’s opener at Northwestern in Saturday.

That “timid” freshman actually acquitted himself nicely in the Bears’ 44-30 loss. Forced to pass the ball 63 times, Goff threw for 445 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also was sacked four times and threw three interceptions, two of them returned for touchdowns in the fourth quarter by linebacker Collin Ellis.

“For the first time out, I thought it was a heck of a ballgame,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said. “Hopefully we’re not going to put that kind of pressure on him. He’s a different player.”

“I can’t even put it in words the difference from the Jared Goff in 2013 and right now,” Lasco said.

Goff said he feels more comfortable now, and said everything on the field has slowed down. He’s nervous before every game, he said, but less so now than a year ago.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said of his debut.

How does he think he performed? “Not well enough to win,” Goff said.

Goff’s teammates saw enough offseason growth in Goff that they elected him one of five team captains. “Last year his voice wasn’t as powerful as it is now,” Lasco said. “It’s real comforting knowing we can look to him for leadership and he can go out there and make those big-time plays.

“And not be afraid to make mistakes – that’s the most important thing.”

Safety Stefan McClure said fooling Goff with coverages is much more difficult now.

“He has a lot more control and command over the offense,” McClure said. “He’s reading the defense a lot faster. Even when we try to disguise, he’s picking up that stuff on the run.”

*****

Saturday’s weather forecast in Evanston, Illinois calls for thunderstorms and an 80-percent chance of rain. Goff, who struggled with a slippery football in a downpour at Oregon last season, said he hasn’t decided whether he will wear gloves for the game.

Dykes isn’t losing any sleep over the forecast. “In my next life,” he said, “I want to come back as a weatherman.”

*****

Both coaches steered clear of last year’s controversy when Dykes hinted the Wildcats feigned injuries in the second half to slow down Cal’s no-huddle, uptempo offense.

Dykes was quoted afterward saying, “It was unusual. It seemed like every time we got a first down, they had an injury. I hadn’t seen that, wasn’t expecting to see that, was disappointed that I saw that.”

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald took exception to those comments at the time, telling the Chicago Sun Times, “If anybody were to question the integrity of myself, our program or our players, I question theirs,” Fitzgerald said. “But if our guys get dinged up, they’re instructed to go down not hobble of to the sideline.”

A year later, both men declined to be drawn into the conversation.

“I haven’t thought about it. There’s not much you can do about that,” Dykes said.

Big Ten officials will call the game, but Dykes said they don’t have much influence on such things. “If someone’s injured, they’re injured,” he said. “I don’t anticipate it being an issue.”

Asked about it on the Big Ten coaches teleconference call Tuesday, Fitzgerald said, “We haven’t talked about it at all.”

*****

There were no real surprises on Cal’s first depth chart of the fall.

Absent from the chart is cornerback Darius White, who has been limited by a shoulder injury. But Dykes said he expects both White and safety Avery Sebasatian (quad) be on the travel squiad.

Eleven true freshmen — including running back Patrick Laird and receiver Matt Rockett, both walkons — are included on the depth chart, and Dykes said he expects most of them to make the trip.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Eric

    It is of course misleading to say Goff three 3 interceptions. One pass bounced off a receiver (hit him square in the hands), went straight up and into the arms of a defender. The second was on a pass deflection at the line that 99 out of 100 times is batted into the ground. I really wish statistics would address this category. Goff’s one true INT was on a deep bomb immediately following a NW turnover. While a bad play and bad decision, it is not surprising.

  • BetweenTheLinesSF

    Was there, can confirm. Horrible luck. The second one happened right in front of our seats.

  • Wehofx

    80% chance of rain. Based on jg’s troubles holding on to a wet ball – Whether he wears gloves or not – sure hope they bring out the hoses and have a “rain” practice. I know, the drought but c’mon we’re talking Football.

    Go Bears! Beat the Floppers.

  • 707 Bear

    Terrific story lines heading into this critical first game.

    Like Ted’s first team in 2002, who knows what we’ll get.

    Unscripted drama at its best.

    Go Bears!

  • Milo

    +1 After Oregon last season and the lame a** excuse by Tony Franklin, there better not be any goof ups this time. At least be prepared. Anyone know if they did wet ball drills?

  • sunshipballoons

    I thought Kyle Boehm would be somewhere on the depth chart, but he’s not. Will he not get any time on the field at any receiver position?

  • sunshipballoons

    Have you never seen a college football game? The best team in the country doesn’t have any games–even against FCS teams–with absolutely no “goof ups.”

  • Calduke

    Good to hear Goff is not timid anymore

  • calinfamy

    I agree with Dani. Dani is usually spot on regarding predicting Cal’s future performance.

    “Other than that, they’re just another football team. It’s nothing special, there’s nothing we can’t handle. In my mind, I know we’re going to go in there and we’re going to win.”
    -Dani Lasco

    “We’ll get the job done. I can promise you that.”
    -Dani Lasco

    Cal certainly handled Oregon and got the job done, 55-16.

    Imagine if Cal didn’t follow Dani’s prediction. Oregon would have won by 80. With a less timid Goff, I think he will be more confident in throwing interceptions and fumbling. The interceptions will have more confidence in that the ball will go straight to the defensive back’s hands or chest (no more deflections this year). The fumbles will follow with a kick of the football to their linebacker for an increased return for a TD percentage.

  • calinfamy

    I agree with Dani. Dani is usually spot on regarding predicting Cal’s future performance.

    “Other than that, they’re just another football team. It’s nothing special, there’s nothing we can’t handle. In my mind, I know we’re going to go in there and we’re going to win.”
    -Dani Lasco

    “We’ll get the job done. I can promise you that.”
    -Dani Lasco

    Cal certainly handled Oregon and got the job done, 55-16.

    Imagine if Cal didn’t follow Dani’s prediction. Oregon would have won by 80. With a less timid Goff, I think he will be more confident in throwing interceptions and fumbling. The interceptions will have more confidence in that the ball will go straight to the defensive back’s hands or chest (no more deflections this year). The fumbles will follow with a kick of the football to their linebacker for an increased return for a TD percentage.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    bwahahaha! flame on loser.

    And btw, classes at the best university in the world began today. A whole new crop of young blues are starting out on their mythical journey in Berkeley this morning…miss those days.

    Go Bears!

  • BlakeStreetBear

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/24683224/josh-shaw-admits-he-lied-suspended-indefinitely

    $c, here is your team captain. And he will definitely get a standing ovation at the colonseum when he rejoins the squad after the impending wrist-slap. He’s a starter after all.

    Ridiculous. And this guy has already been in “college” for 4 years? And he makes up THAT story!? I coulda thought of 100 harder stories to corroborate in seconds…he wanted to be a hero!? “Yeah, I got hurt when I rescued my nephew from drowning. I jumped off the balcony at a birthday party, then into the pool, plenty of people saw me do it, sure.”
    smh…

  • calinfamy

    BlakeStreetBear, I didn’t know that Oxford started classes today. I thought their term started October 12.

    Is Dikes is making certain Dani and his boys are attending classes and doing their work?

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Oxford…LOLZ! what do you get there? A bunch of stuffed shirts and some fried tomatoes?

    I’ll take the SF Bay Area over any part of the world for ALL of its creative and intellectual opportunities, including the University of California in Berkeley.

    And you are really showing your true ignorant colors by using a homophobic slur instead of coach Dykes’ real last name. nice work there bud. Bigoted often?

    That is my last tidbit tossed to the troll, can’t help it today, sorry regulars.

    Go Bears!

  • Rollonubears

    In other news, it’s opening day, baby! Happy College Football Season to everyone. Go Bears!

  • Wehofx

    I Try not to feed the illiterate troll but today I can’t resist.

    In addition to Blake’s post about $c’s prevaricating cb and team capt, a rb quit the team today calling sark, “a racist.” Lmfao.

    Of course since the troll is a prevaricator and a coward, it will not address the $c rot.

  • calinfamy

    All the college football teams with great traditions have encountered adversity outside of the program recently, e.g., USC, Notre Dame, Florida State, Alabama, Texas A&M, Oregon. This was simply miscommunication between the captain, Sark, Hayden, and the media.

    Brown was a disgruntled backup. I would not be surprised if he decided to transfer to Cal. He definitely would start day one over Dani.

  • IHeartDaddy

    Hey Everyone!

    Don’t forget that this weekend Pastor Ricardo Del Figueroa will be holding his annual telethon to benefit the wayward Paige Laurie Scholars of La E$Cuela Del $ur Central.

    You can rest assured, knowing that your donations will fund requirements for legal fees,bail, and probation, as well as late model luxury vehicles, gold capped teeth, and assorted jewelry.

    Thanks to your generosity, Ricardo’s Kids can enjoy all of the impermissible benefits due to them.

    LOL!

  • calinfamy

    Legal fees, bail, and probation are important obstacles in adhering to the California Legislature’s vision of rehabilitating criminal offenders, so I applaud Pastor Figueroa’s efforts. The United States is the land of second (third, fourth, etc.) chances, even for Paige. Everyone makes mistakes.

    What channel is the telethon airing? I would like to donate.

    With your reasoning, Dikes should have been fired months ago after his brilliant 1-11 season.

  • IHeartDaddy

    calinfAMY,

    Daddy says that minimum mandatory sentences are a highly underrated economic stimulus and a boon to his bail bond business.

    Josh, Simione, and a cast of thousands from La E$Cuela Del $ur Central will lift this country out of its economic malaise yet. Why do you hate America?

    Stay tuned for the telethon. Scott Schenter will be singing, literally and figuratively!

    Send the money in! We wouldn’t want you to disappoint Ricardo’s Kids!

    HAHAHAHA

    PS: White Ford Bronco, Chrysler 300, or a Land Rover?