Foles!

Foles!
Photo by Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

Nick Foles’ place as the best quarterback in Arizona Wildcats history was already secure. He was already a tremendous leader and teammate.

What the last couple games of Foles’ college career did was enhance his status as one of the best to ever play the position in this conference.

Let’s start with the big one: Nick Foles is the most accurate passer in the history of the Pac-12.

Matt Leinart set the old record by completing 807 of 1,245 passes during his USC career for a completion percentage of 64.8%. Foles completed 933 of 1,396 attempts for a career completion percentage of 66.8%.

Not only did Foles attempt 151 more passes but Leinart operated behind USC’s all-world line (with a monster running game) while the Arizona QB was usually running for his life and/or getting punished.

(For the record, Stanford’s Andrew Luck has one last game to try and pass Foles. Luck has completed 66.4% of his careers passes on 363 fewer attempts.)

Here are the other Pac-12 records Foles now owns:

Pac-12 Record Who, When Old Nick Foles
Total Offense per Game, Season Ryan Leaf, WSU, 1997 325.7 352.6
Passing Yards per Game, Season Cody Pickett, Wash, 2002 342.9 361.2
Completions, Season Willie Tuitama, ARIZ, 2007 327 387
Completions, Career Carson Palmer, USC, 1998-2002 927 933

As far as the Arizona record book, Foles set fire to it, put the ashes inside a rocket and blew it up again. Here are all the school records in the possession of #8:

Foles!

Foles!
Photo by Chris Morrison-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona Record Total
Completions, Career 933
Completions, Season 387
Passing Yards, Career 10,011
Passing Yards, Season 4,334
Passing Touchdowns, Career (tied) 67
Passing Touchdowns, Season (tied) 28
Completion %, Career 66.8%
Completion %, Season 69.1%

One he doesn’t hold is the single game completions record but the list of best individual games in UA history is pretty amusing:

Player Comp Year Vs
1 Willie Tuitama 42 2007 at Cal
2 Nick Foles 41 2011 at USC
3 Nick Foles 40 2009 Stanford
4 Nick Foles 39 2009 at Wash
5 Willie Tuitama 38 2007 at Wash
6 Nick Foles 37 2011 at Ok. St.
7t Nick Foles 35 2010 OSU
7t Nick Foles 35 2011 at Colo
7t Nick Foles 35 2011 at ASU
10t Nick Foles 34 2011 NAU
10t Nick Foles 34 2011 Oregon
12 Nick Foles 33 2011 ULL
13t Nick Foles 32 2010 at Toledo
13t Nick Foles 32 2010 USC
13t Nick Foles 32 2010 Okla. St.
13t Nick Foles 32 2011 at Wash
17 Jason Johnson 31 2002 at Cal

Yes, the Wildcats were trailing in a lot of those contests but Foles was just as good if not better when the game was on the line. The USC game in 2009. Iowa and Cal last year. ASU this year (with a final-pass assist from Bryson Beirne). Foles produced the game-winning memories to go along with the gaudy stats.

Foals!

Foals!

All that said, there will always be a hint of bittersweetness when we look back on Foles’ Wildcat career. The greatest quarterback in school history and his teams were only able to go 14-18 in his 32 starts. How many years have Arizona fans said, “If we only had a quarterback”? Pick any three-year span in the Dick Tomey era. Wouldn’t you give four of George Malauulu‘s vowels to swap in Nick Foles?

So Cat fans continue to dream of the perfect convergence of quarterback and supporting cast. Until then, remembering the past three years of Foles flinging the ball around isn’t a bad way to pass the time.

The Most Accurate Quarterback in Pac-12 History wore Red and Blue.

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Scott Terrell wishes he could throw the deep out. Huck it on Twitter and Facebook.