QB Outlook – PAC-12

As the college football season approaches, how are the QB positions looking for each team? With some of the starting signal caller positions nailed on, a few were still up for grabs after Spring practice. Let’s dive into the conference of champions and see how things are shaping up.

Arizona Wildcats

QB Room – Jayden de Laura/Noah Fifita

Jedd Fisch has improved Arizona drastically over his 2 years in Tucson. One of the first things he did in year 2 was dip into the transfer portal to grab talented QB Jayden de Laura. Last season, de Laura attempted 435 times for 3,685 yards with a 62.5% completion rate. His interceptions saw a small incline from the previous season and his WR group were a talented bunch. However, de Laura did show he was a key part to the improvement on offence for the Wildcats.

Without voicing the opinion I have, de Laura has faced some recent off the field issues. As it stands, he is slated as the starter and that is guaranteed from what we have seen on the field. Arizona does have a highly regarded RS freshman in Noah Fifita waiting in the wings.


Arizona State Sun Devils

QB Room – Trenton Bourguet/Drew Pyne/Jaden Rashada

After the fall out that seemed to drag on for some time, ASU have a fresh start going into 2023. New head coach Kenny Dillingham does have a dilemma at the quarterback position. After Spring practice, he is no closer to deciding on a starter, as it seems. The two front runners are Drew Pyne and Trenton Bourguet. Pyne, a transfer from Notre Dame, seems to be just behind Bourguet after spring ball. True freshman and 5 star recruit Jaden Rashada is an exciting prospect. However, he is still very raw and will likely redshirt the 2023 season. This battle will last through fall with Dillingham hoping one of them can distance themselves from the other.


California Golden Bears

QB Room – Sam Jackson/Ben Finley/Fernando Mendoza

Cal has seen a total overhaul at the quarterback position this off season. With both Jack Plummer and Kai Milner heading out, the Golden Bears have transferred in Sam Jackson and Ben Finley. Two QBs with very different styles. Jackson, a dual threat guy, looked to have nailed down the starting spot with very little to challenge him. With Fernando Mendoza the only other QB available and with no college game experience, they needed to add to the room. Ben Finley started the last 2 NC State games of the 2022 season before hitting the transfer portal. It looks like there is a battle heading into fall. However, we have read that Cal could run two style offences to suit both players. More questions than answers down in Berkeley.


Colorado Buffaloes

QB Room – Shedeur Sanders/Ryan Staub

With Coach Prime heading over from Jackson State, it seemed inevitable that his son would follow him to Boulder. Shedeur, a 4 star transfer arrived with a lot of buzz behind him. Sanders threw for 3,752 yards,  46 total touchdowns with a pass completion rate of 70%. However, people will point to this being against FCS opponents. Despite that the kid has talent, which was on show in the spring game, despite heavy snowfall. It will be seen to see if Colorado adds anybody to the room via the transfer portal. As it stands, there are only inexperienced freshmen behind Sanders.


Oregon Ducks

QB Room – Bo Nix/Ty Thompson

The Oregon quarterback room has a lot of bodies. However, Bo Nix and Ty Thompson are the main two guys. Bo Nix goes into 2023 as the surefire starter, which there is no argument after last season. After transferring from Auburn, Nix had his best season to date. The 4th year senior threw 29 touchdown passes and ran in 14 on the ground. On top of that, he had over 4,000 all purpose yards, while throwing just 7 interceptions. If Nix can hit those heights again, expect Oregon to be competing in the Pac-12 once again. Ty Thompson, a 4 star recruit from the 2021 class, is slated as back up once again.


Oregon State Beavers

QB Room – DJ Uiagalelei/Ben Gulbranson/Aidan Chiles

Oregon State has been punching above their weight in the Pac-12 for a few seasons now. Even with a mediocre quarterback room. As it stands, things look like they are about to change. Former 5 star recruit DJ Uiagalelei found it difficult at Clemson the last 2 seasons. However, a fresh start with the Beavers could be just what he needs and potentially a big boost for the team. Although, it looks like the battle to be the starter is much closer than anticipated. Ben Gulbranson, who struggled last year in his first season as starter, looks to have shown improvement during the spring. Also, True Freshman Aidan Chiles has turned heads since arriving on campus. However, there is still no indication on who head coach Jonathan Smith will give the nod to as starter.


Stanford Cardinal

QB Room – Ari Patu/Ashton Daniels/Myles Jackson

With long term head coach David Shaw stepping down, Stanford appointed Troy Taylor. As a couple of other new HCs, Taylor needs to find a new starting QB. As it stands, it looks like Junior Ari Patu is slated to be that guy. While only throwing 25 passes in his 2 years in college, reports are Patu has distanced himself from the two other guys during spring practice. Including, highly thought of true freshman Myles Jackson. The last two starting quarterbacks have gone on to be drafted in the NFL. So who will be the next starter, will Patu be the next guy to continue the trend. We are a long way from finding out.


UCLA Bruins

QB Room – Ethan Garbers/Collin Schlee/Dante Moore

The Bruins have to find a new starter at QB, something they haven’t needed to do the past 5 seasons. Also, the battle to be the starter is probably giving head coach Chip Kelly a headache. True Freshman Dante Moore has wowed during spring, but Kelly is likely looking at the two more experienced guys in the room. However, don’t rule him out, as Moore didn’t put a foot wrong in the spring game. Ethan Grabers has made a couple of starts and has served well at DTRs back-up in recent seasons. Kent State transfer Colin Schlee has had a steady spring. However, did his chances of snatching the starting job disappear with a torrid spring game. The head says this is Garbers job heading into fall, but there is still a long way to go.


USC Trojans

QB Room – Caleb Willaims/Miller Moss/Malachi Nelson

Can Caleb Williams put up even better stats than in 2022. Williams finished with figures of 333-500, 4,537 passing yards, 42 passing touchdowns and just 5 interceptions. Add to that the 10 touchdowns on the ground and going on to lifting the Heisman trophy.  USC has a couple of talented quarterbacks behind Williams. However, they will be competing to be the back-up and maybe the future starter next season, when Williams likely heads off to the NFL. True freshman Malachi Nelson is a name to watch out for. Could possibly see him on mop up duty at some points in the season.


Utah Utes

QB Room – Cam Rising/Brandon Rose/Bryson Barnes/Nate Johnson

Spring practice down in Utah has been a little different. With first choice starter Cam Rising still sidelined, while recovering from his knee surgery, eyes have been on the other QBs. Reports coming out of Salt Lake City are that Brandon Rose has the edge. Those reports came straight from head coach Kyle Whittingham’s lips when asked about the quarterback battle. He said that RS Freshman Rose had created a gap between him and the others. Rising is said to be ahead of schedule in rehabbing. However, Whittingham will be pleased with the progress of Rose if Rising isn’t good to go week 1.


Washington Huskies

QB Room – Michael Penix Jr./Dylan Morris/Austin Mack

Without sounding too disrespectful, this is another battle that is non-existent. Penix is coming off his best season as a QB and no surprise it was under new head coach Kalen DeBoer. DeBoer was the OC at Indiana when Penix had his previous best season. However, injuries have been a problem for Penix and it was great to see him stay healthy all last season. With one of the best WR rooms in the conference and exciting play calling, expect Penix to hit high numbers again in 2023. Dylan Morris is the back-up as it stands, with the rest of the QB room inexperienced. Austin Mack is another highly ranked recruit from the 2023 class to keep eyes on for the future.


Washington State Cougars

QB Room – Cam Ward/John Mateer/Emmett Brown

Cam Ward will look to improve on his first season in the FBS as the starter in Pullman. Ward really warmed up in the second half of the season. The now Junior threw only 1 interception in his last 6 regular season games, compared to 7 in the first 6 games. The talent is there and he is the clear starter heading into the 2023 season. Can Ward really pop before potentially heading into the draft? Sophomore John Mateer is set to be heading the race to be the back-up from reports ahead of Emmett Brown.


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