Pac-12 notebook: Conference still has some of nation's top passers
SALT LAKE CITY — The Pac-12 may not be the best overall conference in the country this year, but it certainly looks like the top league in college football for quarterbacks.
Led by Stanford's Andrew Luck, the Pac-12 has a bevy of top quarterbacks, including six of the top 22 in the nation in passing efficiency and nine of the top 50 in passing yardage.
Although Luck is considered a lock for the NFL's No. 1 draft pick and is the Heisman Trophy front-runner, guess where he ranks in passing yards in the Pac-12?
No. 8 with 253.2 yards per game. He's also just 7th in total offense.
However, that's due in part to Stanford's balanced offensive attack. In passing efficiency, Luck is ranked No. 1 in the league with a 178.0 mark and is No. 6 nationally.
Despite Arizona's 1-4 record, quarterback Nick Foles is having a great season and currently ranks No. 3 in passing yards with 375.4 per game and 22nd in passing efficiency at 156.72.
A couple other outstanding Pac-12 QBs include another surefire NFL prospect, USC's Matt Barkley, who is No. 12 in passing yards and No. 16 in passing efficiency and Washington State's Marshall Lobbestael, No. 6 in passing yards and No. 13 in passing efficiency. Washington's Keith Price, who beat Utah last week, is No. 10 in the nation in passing efficiency.
Then there's Arizona State's Brock Osweiler, who will be in Salt Lake this week and is averaging 270 yards per game with a 146.3 passing efficiency rating. Oregon's Darrin Thomas, who is 17th in the nation in passing efficiency and Colorado's Tyler Hansen (265 yards per game).
Other top QBs in the league are UCLA's Richard Brehaut (141.1 passing efficiency), Cal's Zach Maynard (268 yards per game) and Oregon State freshman Sean Mannion, who is 17th in the nation in completions per game.
PAC NOTES: Former Cottonwood High star and Cal running back Isi Sofele ranks 5th in the Pac-12 in rushing with 95 yards per game. ... Despite his off game against Washington, Utah's John White still ranks No. 3 in the league in rushing with 103.8 yards per game. ... Oregon's LaMichael James and Washington's Chris Polk are 1-2 in rushing and rank 2 and 10, respectively in the nation. ... Utah's Chaz Walker is tied for the league lead in tackles with 9.5 per game along with Feti Unga of Oregon State. Washington linebacker Cort Dennison, a former Judge Memorial star, is third with 8.8 per game. ... Utah's Brian Blechen, who got two interceptions in Utah's opening game, is still tied for the lead in interceptions. ... In the latest NCAA rankings, Utah is No. 4 in red-zone defense, tied for fifth in fumble recoveries, tied for seventh in turnovers caused and tied for 13th in turnover margin. The Utes are first in the Pac-12 in all four categories. Arizona State's Jamal Miles, who was Pac-12 special teams player of the week, is 4th in the nation in punt returns and No. 13 in kickoff returns. ... USC's Robert Woods is No. 3 in the nation in both receiving yards and all-purpose yards.
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