Advertisement

FOOTBALL | PACIFIC 10

Quarterback Torch Is Passed to These Guys

September 01, 2006|David Wharton | Times Staff Writer

As the dean of Pacific 10 Conference coaches, Oregon's Mike Bellotti knows the type of player required to win on the West Coast. He calls them "difference makers."

In a conference known for big passing yardage and big scores, that usually means a quarterback who can get the job done.

Last season, USC's Matt Leinart and UCLA's Drew Olson filled the bill. This fall, with both gone to the NFL, the Pac-10 is looking to reload with a few signal callers who have shown hints of something extraordinary:

WILLIE TUITAMA, ARIZONA

* In his first start as a freshman, midway through last season, Tuitama passed for 336 yards and two touchdowns at Oregon State. The next week, he threw a 48-yard touchdown pass in an upset over UCLA. "He has some of those intangibles that are special," Oregon State Coach Mike Riley said.

RUDY CARPENTER, ARIZONA STATE

* A messy quarterback controversy in Tempe should not overshadow the fact that the last man standing is a proven commodity. Replacing the injured Sam Keller midway through 2005, Carpenter finished atop the nation in passing efficiency by throwing for 17 touchdowns with only two interceptions.

ALEX BRINK, WASHINGTON STATE

* There are 531 reasons to expect good things from Brink. That's how many yards he passed for against Oregon State as a sophomore in 2005. Brink finished the season with 2,891 yards passing and 24 touchdowns, good enough to rank second in total offense in the Pac-10 behind Leinart.

TRENT EDWARDS, STANFORD

* Last season was something of an education for Edwards, who had to learn a new offense under first-year Coach Walt Harris. Even so, Edwards completed 63% of his passes, throwing for 17 touchdowns. This fall, the fifth-year senior should benefit from an experienced offensive line and a healthy Evan Moore at receiver.

ISAIAH STANBACK, WASHINGTON

* The Huskies are still waiting for a breakout season, waiting for lots of yards passing and a high completion percentage. But there is one number in particular that worries Pac-10 coaches: Stanback, a senior, has run a 10.48 in the 100 meters for the track team. Bellotti marveled: "Ten-point-something? That's a guy touching the ball on every play."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|