- David Lombardi, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Jared Goff is now an upperclassman, and his maturation has generated its share of hype, including this spot atop Mel Kiper Jr.'s list of junior NFL draft quarterback prospects. A torrid trajectory will raise eyebrows, and Goff's first two years of development in Berkeley have done just that ahead of his junior season. There was no sophomore slump here: Between 2013 and 2014, Goff improved in every single statistical category. He nearly doubled his scoring pass total (from 18 to 35) while bettering the touchdown-to-interception ratio from south of 2:1 to a gaudy 5:1 mark -- excellent by any standard.
While Goff surges, Cal's offense returns a large stable of weapons in 2015. Conventional wisdom suggests the Bears are just a morsel of defensive improvement away -- poor play on that side derailed them again last season -- from giving Goff the necessary support to return the program to bowl eligibility.
If and when that winning record comes to fruition, expect articles like this one to become more prevalent. California Golden Blogs provides an insightful breakdown of how Goff's passing threat allowed the Bears to exploit a rush defense in 2014. The Bears will employ a similar double-edged offensive sword this year, so we should probably keep our eye on Cal running back Daniel Lasco, who -- after racking up 1,115 yards and 12 touchdowns on 5.3 yards per carry last season -- may not fly under the radar much longer.
This offensive resurgence under Sonny Dykes is renewing fervor, and it seems that positivity has carried over to the recruiting trail, where Cal netted three more verbal commitments this past weekend.
And while we're on the topic of offense, there seemed to be a chance that we'd see a whole lot of it during the 2016 season, when a Cal-Baylor matchup in Australia was rumored to be in the works. But to the chagrin of those who love video game-like box scores, that plan is now off the table:
Proposed Baylor-Cal 2016 game in Australia is off, sources told @ESPN
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 3, 2015