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Cal pass defense surrenders most yards in FBS history, spoiling historic Jared Goff season

Shaking head.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

In almost any other season, and perhaps if we get one more win, all we're probably talking about is the historic turnaround the Cal offense made to bring the Bears back to competency this season. Cal averaged 38.3 points, currently 13th in FBS and 2nd in the Pac-12 after Oregon. Their 459 points was a season-high for the program.

And Jared Goff. What a season.

  • 35 touchdowns, breaking Pat Barnes's single season record of 31 touchdowns.
  • 3,973 passing yards, breaking the 3,508 passing yard mark that Goff set last season.
  • Goff's 527 yards against Washington State is the most single-game passing yards by any Bears quarterback, breaking his own record against Washington State from last year.
  • Goff's 458 yards against Colorado is now the fifth best passing performance by a Cal quarterback in one game. Goff now has five of the six top single-game passing yard performances of all-time.
  • Goff has thrown 53 touchdowns as a Bear (3rd most among Cal quarterbacks) and 7,481 passing yards (4th most).
  • Kyle Boller leads Cal w/ 64 passing TDs (Pat Barnes 54). Troy Taylor with 8126 passing yards, Boller 7980, Barnes 7360. Assuming perfect health, Goff should obliterate both records by mid-season next year.

We won five games.

So as great as these stats are, they feel a bit hollow.

We have to talk about the biggest culprit: The atrociously bad Cal pass defense, which is dead last again. This year it hit historically bad levels, which I thought was impossible after last year's reboot of the Benny Hill Show.

Phil Steele tweeted that if BYU's quarterback threw for 277 yards on Saturday, Cal would give up the most passing yards in a regular season ever. Walk-on backup quarterback Christian Stewart had only hit 300 yards in half of his performances, so it wasn't far fetched that the Cal defense might be able to step up and deliver.

They surrendered 433 (and I think it's quite possible that the record was broken on that 83 yard touchdown).

The California Golden Bears pass defense, which started so promisingly, crumbled by the end of 2014. With Cal losing a lot of their defensive line talent from last season and losing Brennan Scarlett midway through the year, the pass rush crumbled. The Bears were able to blitz big and get a few negative plays against BYU, but at the cost of giving up the big play that killed them all year last year.

And the stats just pile up sadly. Here are the record that this Cal defense broke this season.

Despite only a few noticeable improvements. I doubt any Cal defensive coaches will be let go--we cannot afford to have three different defensive coaching staffs in three consecutive seasons. At this point, this is our staff, and we have to ride with them. I think these coaches have managed to do some good things, and the defense has come up with crucial plays in a few of our wins this season. That is an improvement of sorts from when our defense couldn't do anything except cough up battery acid a year previous.

Still, if this defense doesn't improve and Cal's offense doesn't get wins they probably deserve, I doubt Dykes and company will be able to make it another season.