BERKELEY — Three things you noticed about Cal from its 37-30 victory over Portland State on Saturday.
FIRST NOTICEABLE THING:
Quarterback Jared Goff is very good. He's not good because just he's a freshman playing quarterback. He's good because he's a very good quarterback playing quarterback.
Oh, you could quibble if you were a quibbler. He overthrows receivers on deep patterns. Well, he sometimes overthrows them. Receivers will be running past the coverage, and Goff will unwind and heave that ball and it will go too far. You figure he'll learn. Besides, he does so many other things beautifully.
In the fourth quarter, he ran a keeper up the middle — like a fullback barreling ahead — and he gained 17 yards. A few plays later, he hit Bryce Treggs for 39 yards. He had touch on the pass, the feel of the thing, and he is just beginning his career.
In the game, he threw for 485 yards. The first week against Northwestern, he threw for 450 yards. Before he appeared on the scene, Cal quarterbacks had thrown for more than 400 yards four times. So, in his first two games, Goff did it the fifth and sixth times.
Is he good or what?
After the game, he said the Bears could have played better. No argument with that. He didn't mind overthrowing receivers, he said. “It's almost impossible to be happy with every play.” No argument with that.
Although he's just 18, he came off in person mature, poised, a team spokesman. He demonstrated the presence of a quarterback, admittedly an intangible quality.
SECOND NOTICEABLE THING:
The Cal Bears are fun to watch, a ton of fun. With them something is always happening.
They are busting off great runs or hitting the most precise passes in the flat or running the read-option like nobody's business. And everything happens so fast — boom, boom, boom. If the Cal offense were a writer, their offense would be one extended run-on sentence.