John Goodman’s 18-yard touchdown catch against Boston College last week wasn’t nearly as impressive as his one-handed, 36-yard touchdown grab at Michigan State.
At least, not for Goodman.
For quarterback Everett Golson, though, it was a truly remarkable play. That’s because Golson’s 18-yard pass actually traveled somewhere between 50 and 70 yards in the air. On the play, Golson rolled out to the right and bought himself some time before finding Goodman comically open in the far left side of the end zone.
“He rolled out right, and that kind of took the defense over there,” Goodman said. “I was basically one-on-one on the backside, took a couple steps like I was going to run out right with Everett, to his side, saw his eyes come back at me. So I stopped, and my guy kept running. Lucky for me, I stayed wide open. The ball felt like it was in the air forever, like the old days when I was back there catching punts.”
It’s not a throw every quarterback can make. But Goodman knew Golson could reach him.
“We see it every day in practice, 10 times every practice,” he said. “It’s not very surprising to us. I knew he had the arm to do it. That’s why I stood back there. I trusted him. And it was a good result.”
It was the kind of play that, frankly, Tommy Rees maybe wouldn’t have been able to make — the ability to escape the pocket, then throw a ball so far across the field. It was the kind of play that illustrates why Irish coach Brian Kelly wanted Golson under center this season, despite all the growing pains he’s experienced. Kelly on Thursday again singled out Golson for his improvement over the course of the season. When asked whose progress has impressed him the most, Kelly wasted no time in answering.
“Everett Golson,” he said. “I would start and end right there. He’s doing all the things that we were hoping. What we had to live through was some ups and downs. But there’s no question he’s there”