Quarterback Jared Goff was also recognized on Monday for his school-record 527 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions on 37-of-53 passing in Cal’s 60-59 victory over Washington State, earning the College Football Performance Awards Co-National Performer of the Week, and sharing the CFPA’s Quarterback Performer of the Week, both for the second straight week.
“I thought our kickoff return was OK early, and then, obviously, Trevor made the two big plays that I think got us back in the ballgame, because they had a little bit of momentum at that time, and we needed to have an answer,” said head coach Sonny Dykes of Davis, who had two straight kickoffs returned for touchdowns in the third quarter of Saturday’s game. “Both of those kick returns gave us a spark, a little bit of an emotional lift.”
Davis tied Football Bowl Subdivision and Pac-12 single-game records and became the first player in Cal history to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game against the Cougars, bringing back two consecutive kickoffs for 100-yard and 98-yard scores in the third quarter. Davis became the 20th player in FBS history with two kickoff returns in the same contest and the third in the Pac-12 with the others Reggie Dunn (Utah vs. Cal, 2012) and Anthony Davis (USC vs. Notre Dame, 1997). The last time Cal had a kickoff return for a touchdown was in 2011 when Brendan Bigelow returned one 88 yards against Presbyterian. Davis' 198 kickoff return yards were also a school record, surpassing the old mark of 186 set by Deltha O'Neal vs. Navy in the 1996 Aloha Bowl. Davis' 100-yard kickoff return was tied for the third-longest in school history while his 98-yarder tied for seventh. Davis added three receptions for 82 yards with a career-high two touchdown catches to give him a career-high four scores, which are the most by a Cal player since Jahvid Best set a modern-era record with five touchdowns at Minnesota in 2009. Davis’ two receiving touchdowns were a 51-yarder that provided the game-winning points and a 27-yarder that was Cal’s first score of the game and its lone touchdown of the first half. Davis' 280 all-purpose yards were a career-high.
The repercussions of Davis’s big night came swiftly, as the Cougars fired special teams coach Eric Russell.
Over the first five contests of the 2014 season, Goff has completed 117-of-181 passes for 1,875 yards with 22 touchdowns and three interceptions for an impressive 188.5 passer efficiency rating that is significantly better than the school’s single-season mark of 164.5 established by Dave Barr in 1993.
The school record for passing touchdowns in a season is 31, set by Pat Barnes in 1996, and Goff is well on his way to eclipsing that with his 22 scores.
Goff’s averages for touchdown passes (4.40) and points responsible for (26.8 ppg) both lead the nation, while his 16.03 yards per completion is also first in the Pac-12 and seventh nationally. Goff ranks tied for second in both the Pac-12 and NCAA in total touchdown passes and points responsible for (132). He is also among Pac-12 and NCAA leaders in passing efficiency (2nd Pac-12, 3rd NCAA), passing yards per game (375.0 ypg, 2nd Pac-12, 5th NCAA), passing yards (3rd Pac-12, 7th NCAA) and total offense (368.4 ypg, 3rd Pac-12, 7th NCAA). Goff moved onto or up several career lists during the Washington State contest and now ranks among Cal's all-time leaders in 300-yard passing games (2nd, 8), passer efficiency (3rd, 139.8), 250-yard passing games (5th, 11), touchdown passes (T8th, 40) and passing yards (10th, 5,383). His current passer efficiency rating of 188.5 through the first five games of 2014 would also be a single-season school record, while his 22 touchdown passes rank fifth.
What’s the biggest difference in Goff since last season?
“I think, more than anything else, understanding what it takes to play quarterback at this level, just maturing that way and just coming full circle, realizing that it takes a lot of work, it takes some ups and downs, some highs and lows, and all that type of stuff, and you just have to stay consistent,” said Dykes. “When things are going your way, you’ve got to keep a level head, and when things aren’t, you’ve got to keep a level head. I think, from that perspective, I think he’s really matured. He’s worked really hard over the summer, and just understands that you’ve got to have a great work ethic, if you want to be anything at that position.”