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:
|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:
|1||Willie Tuitama||42||2007||at Cal|
|2||Nick Foles||41||2011||at USC|
|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||2011||at Colo|
|7t||Nick Foles||35||2011||at ASU|
|13t||Nick Foles||32||2010||at Toledo|
|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.
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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