Cal Players to Watch this Weekend

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Jared Goff – Quarterback

Aug 31, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Jared Goff (16) throws the pass against the Northwestern Wildcats during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The start of the season always seems to be about how many programs have to deal with breaking in a new quarterback. More often than not, breaking in a new quarterback is a painful process. Fortunately for Cal, Jared Goff has been simply phenomenal to begin his career. In two games, he has turned in the second and third most prolific games by a quarterback in Cal history. Only four games featured a Cal quarterback who had thrown for over 400 yards in school history before Goff walked onto the UC Berkeley campus. Now there are six games.

Goff is a once-in-a-generation talent who can make throws some NFL quarterbacks can’t make. That’s no lie. I’d take Jared Goff over the likes of Mark Sanchez, Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker (amongst others) right now, no questions asked. He has a cannon and he’s accurate. Not to mention he’s not the worst quarterback I’ve seen when flushed out of the pocket. He’s already thrown for 935 yards and 4 touchdowns.

He is a freshman though, and freshmen always make mistakes. Goff has yet to make an egregious error, and if Cal wants to win this weekend, they will need that to continue. Goff will make mistakes at some point this season, but he can’t afford to make many (if any) against Ohio State.

He will be matched up against a defensive secondary that includes Bradley Roby, Ron Tanner, Doran Grant and Armani Reeves. All those guys have speed, good hands, and can keep up with any receiving corps they face. The best chance Cal has is to keep the ball steady, and not let any one of those ball hawks create turnovers. That comes down on Goff.