Cal vs. UCLA: Jared Goff had that freshman look in the Rose Bowl

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sport

Jared Goff is really struggling after a strong start (both his completion percentage and yards per attempt are down after the bye week). Do you blame his troubles more on Goff or more on the other team deficiencies?

Ruey Yen: Jared Goff really did not look sharp on this Saturday night. While he still did complete a respectable 63% of his passes (26 for 41), I can hear the call for Zach Kline getting louder and louder. One thing to remember, though, is that this was only Goff's 2nd career road start. His first road start was, of course, in that monsoon up in Eugene when he had all kind of fumbling problems. So if you're really grasping for some positives, then you can say that Goff's 2nd career start is miles above his first one.

I thought Goff missed a lot of his targets in the UCLA games. The sharp passing in the short and mid-range game was simply not there on a consistent basis. While he only had 1 interception, Goff gave the Bruins few other opportunities to pick the ball. As the QB of the team, perhaps the pressure to win games is getting to Goff?

After a brilliant start to his collegiate career, Goff hasn't been quite at the same level. I don't know think this is due to the oppositions having figured out how to defend the Bear Raid. Instead, Goff is simply not executing at a high level. Maybe he has some nagging injuries or something else, but it might be time to give Kline another look.

Berkelium97: Against UCLA Goff's struggles were mostly his own. The first-half pass rush could be blamed for disrupting his rhythm, but he's been feeling a heavy pass rush all season and he hadn't performed like this. Yesterday he was missing many of the passes that he usually makes. The interception was particularly frustrating--he didn't expect that defender to drop back into coverage and threw the ball right to him. He looked like a true freshman in this game.
It was a bad performance, but it will take a few more like this before I start wondering if Kline is a better option.

LeonPowe: From watching the game yesterday it felt to me like there were two root causes - the first was Goff himself. I can't speak to what he was actually feeling like or seeing - but it seemed to me that he was tentative in a lot of his decision making. A lot of his outs and dig route passes were behind or low to his receivers and his downfield touch was non-existant. He has got to saddle a good portion of the blame for the poor offensive day we had.

However, UCLA, even without Cassius Marsh, was coming off the edges, up the middle, off blitzes, everywhere. So, much like Maynard's time at QB, I think always running for one's life has to have a pretty negative effect on a quarterback's ability.

Leland Wong: We can't solely blame Saturday's poor passing performance on Goff. Let's bust out our favorite clichés and acknowledge that football is a team game and the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The offensive line was struggling against UCLA's pass rush and Goff was perpetually uncomfortable in the pocket. Earlier in the season, it felt like Goff was doing a better job of staying cool under fire, so he might have been having his own issues, but the O-line wasn't doing him any favors either. Perhaps the lack of a run game is affecting Goff's performance; if defenses no longer respect the ground game and focus on the passing, it will be harder for Goff to continue his hot start.

To go off on a bit of a tangent (that Ruey started, so blame him!), there is a vocal portion of the fanbase that is hoping to see Kline get some playtime or starts. Personally, while I'd say Goff is hardly perfect, the quarterback position is among the least of my worries. That being said, I think it would be interesting if Kline got substantial play time. Reports from practice had these two neck-and-neck, so Kline has the talent to play. The biggest motivation for me is something the coaches said. A quarterback could complete 45 of 50 passes for 1000 yards, but that's a horrible stat if the team loses. The coaching staff defines a successful quarterback as one who wins, even if it's throwing 5/50 for 10 yards, but 5 TDs and the win. Goff is definitely a great quarterback and I think the team is in good McLovin-like hands, but I am curious to see if Kline has any leadership skills that might translate to wins.
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