It turns out Nick Foles might be better than we thought.
It is common knowledge among fans of the Arizona Wildcats that the strong-armed senior quarterback is rewriting the school’s record book. As the numbers have continued to pile up Foles is now in position to topple some Pac-12 marks as well.
This was just going to be a short blurb. I was going to tell you about seats and bubbles when I read that Foles was on pace to break the Pac-12 record for passing yards per game in a season. I figured I’d pass the stat tidbit along to give UA fans something else to root for during the remainder of a difficult year.
Then I took a closer look at the Pac-12 record book. As I scanned the passing section and did some math I realized – holy forward pass, Batman – Foles has a shot at a bunch of these.
Take a look. All records are for a single season unless noted:
|PAC-12 RECORDS||WHO, WHEN||WHAT||NICK FOLES, 2011|
|Total Offense||Cody Pickett, Wash, 2002||4,273||4,260 (pace)|
|Total Offense per Game||Ryan Leaf, WSU, 1997||325.7||355.0|
|Passing Yards||Cody Pickett, Wash, 2002||4,458||4,401 (pace)|
|Passing Yards per Game||Cody Pickett, Wash, 2002||342.9||366.8|
|Completions||Willie Tuitama, Ariz, 2007||327||388 (pace)|
|Completion Percentage||Rich Campbell, Cal, 1980||70.7||70.0|
|Completion %, Career||Matt Leinart, USC, 2002-05||64.8||66.7|
Members of the Wildcat Universe shouldn’t take this for granted. We have no idea what kind of offense the new coach will run or what kind of quarterbacks he’ll be able to recruit. Don’t forget, 20 touchdown passes (Foles’ 2011 total through eight games) was the Arizona single-season record for 41 years.
Also remember to save some love for Foles’ favorite target. With his next touchdown reception Juron Criner will tie the UA career record of 30 set by Theopolis “T” Bell in 1975.
Both current Cats would rather complete two passes and win than throw for 400 yards and lose but even as victories have been hard to come by, Foles-to-Criner continues to give Arizona fans something spectacular to look forward to on Saturdays.
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Elsewhere in the Pac-12…
Didn’t I tell you not to give up on Rick Neuheisel? OK, that’s not exactly what I said but I did give UCLA a chance at six wins and they got a big one against Cal.
Fear not, Jeff Tedford, it’s your turn now. You have two consecutive home games against teams with losing records. Win those and you go bowling.
(The key for Cal after that will be avoiding getting embarrassed on the road against Stanford and ASU so there isn’t an emotional firing Thanksgiving weekend. But let’s get Jeffy Ted bowl eligible first.)
Oregon State is the team that isn’t playing along at all. They win the games we want them to lose (vs. Arizona and WSU) and they lose the game we’re hoping they win (vs. Utah). All that’s left is for Mike Riley to beat Stanford this week and make the whole Pac-12 hate him.
The updated grid of hot seat optimism:
|UCLA||at Utah, Colo||6-6||ASU|
|Cal||WSU, OSU||6-6||at ASU|
If this holds true it means Riley’s last four seasons will have gone 9-4, 8-5, 5-7 and 2-10. That’s not what ASU’s Lisa Love would call upward-trajectory football records. Is the potential of freshman quarterback Sean Mannion enough to offset Riley running out of Rodgers brothers? Don’t dam him, Beavers.
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Two more teams have been fitted with bowling shoes in the latest version of the bubble:
Arizona State and Washington each won its sixth game to secure postseason eligibility. Congrats, Alamo and Holiday Bowls, you’re officially getting Pac-12 teams. The other bowls? They’re going to have to wait a bit.
Utah (4-4) has moved ahead of Cal (4-4) on the Bubble In line since the Utes have twice as many remaining games against losing teams than the Bears.
UCLA (4-4) is hanging tight in the Middle. That’s what happens when you’ve played 2/3 of your schedule and you still don’t consecutive wins (or losses).
Washington State (3-5) falls down to Bubble Out as their losing streak has extended to four. That 3-1 start seems like a long time ago.
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