Goff, playing in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, broke Armed Forces Bowl and Pac-12 passing records after racking up an incredible six touchdown passes and 467 passing yards in California’s 55-36 victory over the Air Force Academy.
“The sky might be low in terms of description,” said Air Force Head Coach Troy Calhoun said. “He is one heck of a player.”
Air Force and its triple-option offense pounded Cal on the first drive of the game, calling 11 running plays for 68 yards, the last one ending in a 1-yard touchdown run by junior running back Jacobi Owens.
Cal answered with a balanced seven play (four rushing plays, three passing plays), 65-yard scoring drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Vic Enwere. Sophomore running back Tre Watson keyed the scoring drive with a 32-yard run.
After an Air Force punt near the end of the first quarter, Goff and company only needed two plays to find the end zone and take the lead, 14-7. Goff completed two passes to senior wide receiver Bryce Treggs, one for 17 yards and a touchdown pass that went for 30 yards. Treggs redeemed himself on the drive after dropping what appeared to an easy touchdown catch on the previous drive.
Air Force started the second quarter by tying the game at 14 with a five-play, 59-yard scoring drive, which ended in a 16-yard touchdown run by sophomore wide receiver Tyler Williams.
Midway through the second quarter, Goff led the Golden Bears on a seven-play, 81-yard touchdown drive. The last two plays of the drive covered 45 yards — a 40-yard completion to senior wide receiver Maurice Harris and a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Darius Powe to put California up 21-14. Powe finished the game with four catches, 70 receiving yards and two touchdown catches.
The Golden Bears wouldn’t give up the lead again, and they would go on to set the Armed Forces Bowl record for most first half points with 35. Goff’s four touchdown passes tied the Armed Forces Bowl record for most touchdown passes in the first half.
Cal set the Armed Forces Bowl record for most first half points with 35, and Goff’s four touchdown passes tied the Armed Forces Bowl record for most touchdown passes in the first half.
Goff continued to look at ease coming out of the locker room, as he notched his fifth touchdown pass to start the third quarter. Goff’s five touchdown passes and 377 yards passing set new Armed Forces Bowl records with 26 minutes remaining in the game.
Following a 69-yard Air Force touchdown drive, Goff led the Golden Bears on a three-play, 61-yard scoring drive to end the third quarter. Goff completed a 41-yard strike to Treggs and a 25-yard passing touchdown to Lawler. The junior quarterback’s sixth touchdown pass of the game increased Cal’s lead to 52-29.
Treggs finished the game with four catches, 143 receiving yards, and a touchdown catch, and Lawler finished the game with five catches, 75 receiving yards and three touchdown catches.
After Cal’s scoring drive to end the third quarter, Goff became the Pac 12 single-season record holder for touchdown passes with 43, passing former Oregon quarterback and 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. Goff also set the Pac 12 single-season record for passing yards with 4,719.
Cal secured its first eight-win season since 2009, as the Golden Bears finished the year 8-5. Cal is now 7-2 all-time against Air Force.
“Winning eight games and finishing with a bowl victory, it’s really as much as you could ask for,” Goff said. “And it’s been a lot of fun.”
In terms of his future, Goff said he’s going to have a discussion with his parents and “should know soon” whether or not he will leave Cal for the NFL or return for his senior season.
Air Force is now 1-9 at Amon G. Carter Stadium, with five losses coming against TCU. The other three losses came in the Armed Forces Bowl.