USC handed Cal, led by quarterback Jared Goff, its third consecutive loss on Saturday, 27-21. It was USC's second consecutive win under interim coach Clay Helton, and the Trojans knocked more shine off of one of the top pro quarterback prospects in the college game.
USC intercepted Goff twice, including one returned 46 yards for a touchdown by USC star cornerback Adoree' Jackson:
Goff completed 23 of 31 passes for 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
A junior, Goff will decide after the season whether to turn pro early or return to the Golden Bears for one more season. A scout told The Los Angeles Times that Goff figures to be a first-round pick and one of the top two quarterbacks chosen if he applies for and is granted draft eligibility after the season. But not all are as sold -- his play drew criticism Saturday from former Chicago Bears director of college scouting Greg Gabriel:
NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks noticed Gabriel's analysis and challenged him to identify a quarterback prospect playing better than Goff.
While it wasn't an especially impressive day for USC quarterback Cody Kessler, it was more mistake-free than Goff's performance: 18 of 22, 186 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions.