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Marin Catholic Grad Makes Immediate Impact for Cal as Starting Quarterback

True freshman Jared Goff set a school record with 445 passing yards in regulation in his collegiate debut on Saturday in a 44-30 loss to Northwestern.

Credit: Norbert von der Groeben/GoldenBearSports.com
Credit: Norbert von der Groeben/GoldenBearSports.com
By Gideon Rubin

Jared Goff had a collegiate football debut for the ages last week.

The Novato resident and former Marin Catholic prep standout who earlier this summer won the starting quarterback job at Cal as a true freshman, set a school record with 445 passing yards in  regulation in Saturday's 44-30 loss to Northwestern (Pat Barnes owns the all-time record with 503 yards in a four-overtime game in 1996).

Goff also set school records for attempts (63) and completions (38).

So he must be satisfied, right?

Not exactly.

"A lot of stuff I can do better," Goff told reporters at a press conferenceafter Saturday's game.

"I mean, I had a few nice passes, a few good plays but there's a lot of stuff I can do better...I had some mess-ups, some bad luck, but that's no excuse, I've just got to stay sharper and do a little bit better."

That Goff has perhaps unusually high standards is no surprise to those in Marin County circles.

Goff compiled 3,872 passing yards and threw for 42 touchdowns to lead the Wildcats to a North Coast Section Division III championship and an appearance in the state title last fall at Marin Catholic.

But freshman quarterbacks rarely make  the kind of first impression Goff did in the Northwestern  game.

"There were a little bit of nerves, but I was over it real fast," he said. "I got my first completion in, got my first touchdown in and I was over it pretty fast."

And  before he knew it, he did what no other quarterback in a program that traces its roots to the 19th Century.

"I didn't even know I threw that many times," Goff said. "It's more than I threw  in high school  but it didn't really feel like  it was that much more.

"I was just going through my reads and throwing the ball when I was supposed to and not throwing the ball when I wasn't supposed to, and  it just happened to work out like that."

It also just happened to work out well for a Cal program that looks to be on the upswing under first-year coach Sonny Dykes.  

Goff hopes to lead the Golden Bears to their first win under Dykes when they play host to Portland State on Saturday at 2 p.m.

"We definitely played well throughout most of the game," Goff said.

"The ending was a little disappointing but we've got a lot to build on now with how well we played. We learned a lot of stuff; everything that could have happened did happen throughout the game. We learned from it and we'll come out  stronger."

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