Cal’s Jared Goff Breaks Pac-12 Passing, TD Records
By Burt Carey
Quarterback Jared Goff threw for six touchdowns and 467 yards to lead the California Bears past Air Force 55-36 in the Armed Forces Bowl Tuesday at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.
Goff’s crazy 2015 season pushed his season total to 43 touchdowns, passing the record 42 TDs set by Oregon’s Marcus Mariota last year. And his 4,719 yards for the season eclipsed the 4,662-yard record set by Sean Mannion. He also holds the school record for pass completions in a season at 341.
The numbers would easily make Goff a heavy favorite as one of the first picks in the 2016 NFL draft. His credentials are even more impressive when Goff’s numbers are compared to the last great quarterback to come out of Cal, Steve Bartkowski. All Bartkowski did is pass for 2,580 yards in his final season with the Bears. The Atlanta Falcons selected him No. 1 in the 1975 NFL draft and promptly signed him to the biggest contract in league history at the time.
Oh, and there’s another quarterback to come out of Berkeley you might have heard of: Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay Packers fame. He was selected No. 24 overall in the 2005 NFL draft, led the Pack to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, and was the league MVP in 2011. Goff’s 467 passing yards in the Armed Forces Bowl is also a school bowl record, besting Rodgers’ mark of 394 yards.
Mariota was selected No. 2 overall by the Tennessee Titans in this year’s NFL draft. Mannion, from Oregon State, wasn’t selected until the third round of the 2015 draft by the St. Louis Rams.
At 6’4”, 215 pounds, some football analysts believe Goff should play his senior year for Cal and get bigger and stronger before making his professional debut. Goff hasn’t indicated yet whether he’ll return for his senior season.
Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun was singing Goff’s praises following the Armed Forces Bowl: “The amount of protection changes, route changes — he sees leverage of defenders, run-pass options. Pretty unique skill set.”