Conference of quarterbacks produces another talented batch
PHOENIX (AP) The Pac-12 has been called the conference of quarterbacks, and this season, it's living up to the billing.
It's just two games into the season, but the Pac-12's quarterbacks have been stellar at times, featuring seven returning starters, including a star-in-the-making at UCLA, and a talented group of newcomers.
A rundown of what some of the conference's top quarterbacks have done so far this season:
Jared Goff, California: An argument can be made that Goff is the best of the bunch in the Pac-12. He certainly has the numbers. The junior was the conference's top returning starter for yards passing after throwing for a school-record 3,973 last season with 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He's been good this year, too, ranking 15th nationally with 630 yards and six touchdowns. He entered the season with 19 school records and heads into Saturday's game against Texas needing 16 yards to break Troy Taylor's career record.
Cody Kessler, Southern California: Kessler could stake a claim in the best-of-conference argument. The senior threw more touchdowns - 39 last season - than any returning Pac-12 starter. He had five interceptions and threw for more than 3,800 yards. Kessler has thrown for 650 yards over the first two games, including a career-high 410 in a rout over Idaho, and seven touchdowns.
Anu Solomon, Arizona: Last year, he won a four-way battle to be Arizona's starter in his freshman season and didn't disappoint, throwing for over 3,700 yards and 28 touchdowns while leading the Wildcats to the Fiesta Bowl. With a firmer grasp of the offense and more confidence, Solomon is expected to improve this season. He's thrown for 493 yards and six touchdowns so far.
Josh Rosen, UCLA: As debuts go, it doesn't get much better than this true freshman's first career start. Rosen was 28 of 35 for 351 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions against Virginia. He wasn't quite as sharp last week against UNLV, hitting 22 of 42 for 223 yards and an interception, but the future appears to be bright for this one.
Luke Falk, Washington State: Mike Leach's Air Raid offense is designed to put up big passing numbers, and Falk has done just that. He started the last three games in 2014, and this year, he leads the Pac-12 with 767 yards and six touchdowns. He was stellar against Rutgers on Saturday, throwing for 468 yards and four touchdowns, including an 8-yard score with 13 seconds left to cap a game-winning 90-yard drive. He was last week's Pac-12 offensive player of the week.
Vernon Adams Jr., Oregon: The Ducks had a big void to fill after losing Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, and Adams got the nod as the No. 12 Ducks' starter after transferring from Eastern Washington. He threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns in a win against his former school in the opener, but injured the index finger on his throwing hand. The finger appeared to hamper Adams in Oregon's loss to No. 7 Michigan State on Saturday, but he still managed to throw for 309 yards and a late touchdown.
Mike Bercovici, Arizona State: Bercovici spent more of his college career as a backup, first to Brock Osweiler and the past two seasons to Taylor Kelly. Bercovici lit it up in three games as ASU's starter after Kelly injured his foot, throwing for an NCAA-record 998 yards in his first two starts. The undisputed starter this season, Bercovici has yet to break out as the Sun Devils played an uneven first two games, but his big arm will likely lead to big plays once Arizona State gets its fast-paced offense revved up.