Nov 9, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Jared Goff (16) escapes from USC Trojans linebacker Devon Kennard (42) during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Cal Golden Bears Freshman Passing Combo Provides Glimmer Of Hope


Somewhere in the muck of a lost 1-9 season for the Cal Golden Bears is that there are some positive signs for the future.

The Golden Bears lost their 14th straight game against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents on Saturday as they were pounded in their home finale by Southern California 62-28.

But freshman quarterback Jared Goff and freshman wide receiver Kenny Lawler hooked up for a pair of touchdowns, running their total to five scoring combinations in the last two games.

It’s been a tough first year for coach Sonny Dykes. Cal hasn’t won a Pac-12 game in their last 13 tries and are 122nd among the 125 teams in FBS, surrendering 42.8 points per game.

Nov 9, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears wide receiver Kenny Lawler (4) catches the ball for a touchdown against the USC Trojans during the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium. The USC Trojans defeated the California Golden Bears 62-28. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

But Goff has shown signs of brilliance at times in his first year, completing 60.3 percent of his tosses for 2,881 yards and 14 touchdowns despite being sacked 27 times. He’s getting better as the season progresses—seven of his 14 touchdown passes have come in the last two weeks and he’s holding up despite being asked to throw … a lot … because of Cal’s anemic running game.

In 10 starts this season, Goff has at least 50 attempts in six of those games, including 158 in his last three games.

Lawler now has 28 catches for 239 yards and five scores—with all of those touchdowns coming in the last two games. Against Arizona and USC the last two weeks, Lawler has 12 receptions for 126 yards and the five scores. At 6-foot-3, the rangy Lawler is learning how to take advantage of smaller defensive backs, particularly in the red zone, where the field gets smaller. Both of his scoring catches Saturday were from four yards out.

It’s been a nightmarish season for the Golden Bears, one of the worst in the history of the program, but with Jared Goff and Kenny Lawler having three years each of eligibility remaining, we might be seeing the start of something big in Berkeley.

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