Jared Goff is more commonly associated with methodical passers that chip away at defenses, but he’s made some big time throws at Cal. He drops bombs on opposing defenses from time to time, and it’s a pretty sight to see.
*Throws are in no particular order*
Corner routes can be a nightmare for defenses. They require the quarterback to be very accurate, but the pay off for a well placed throw is huge. This throw would have been a difficult throw for Goff to make even if his pocket was clean. He did not get that luxury on this play, though, and was forced to move to his left. Without dropping his eyes, Goff slid out to his left and dropped a dime just between the defender and the sideline. The timing, focus and precision displayed here is why many have become infatuated with Goff.
Goff’s receiver has to make an adjustment here, but considering the situation, that is more than okay. A ball thrown on a tighter line may have been defended by the cornerback, whereas a pass that hung any longer than this one did would have been susceptible to the safety’s hands. Despite how ugly the adjustment may make the play look, it was truly the only spot the throw could have been.
But step back for a second. Before the throw, take the situation into account. It’s 4th-and-3 in the red zone and Cal is down by a score. Goff has to make a play here to at least keep the drive alive, but he goes for the kill. He opens to his left to hold the defense to that side of the field for as long as he can, then turns and unleashes a dart to Kenny Lawler for the touchdown that gave Cal the lead.
Again with the corner route. In terms of placement, this corner route is better than the first. The margin for error on this play is a bit smaller because if he under throws this pass even just a smidge, it might be an interception. Notice the process that Goff goes through before the throw, though. He is looking to his right to open the play, again doing his best to keep the defensive focus away from his true intended target. This play shows the precision Goff often displays in all facets of his game.
The placement on this throw is nuts. Just insane. There is virtually no margin of error. If this throw is a foot more inside, the defender gets a hand on it. Conversely, if this throw is a foot wider, it either soars out of bounds or the receiver likely fails to get his foot in bounds. Goff put an angled 25 yard throw near the boundary in the most perfect spot it could have been placed. There isn’t much to say; the throw speaks for itself.
Goff’s team absolutely needed him to come through here, and he did. Cal was down by two scores well into the fourth quarter. A conversion on this 4th-and-6 would have surely ended the game. Goff once again opens to the opposite side of the play, returns his vision to his intended target and drops one in the bucket just over a USC defender. Much like the second play, the receiver has to make an adjustment to complete this play, but all things considered, it was a great play. The stakes were high and Goff had a defender sitting just underneath his intended target, yet he still came through with a clutch throw. USC ultimately won the game, but this throw kept Cal alive when they were staring defeat in the face.