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Best Pac 12 Quarterbacks Returning For The 2022 Season

Best Pac 12 Quarterbacks

“You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” All you Star Wars fans know where that came from, but the fact is the Pac 12 is changing. No one knows what it will look like starting in 2024. But we know that the Pac 12 is playing football this upcoming season. And they have some talented gunslingers leading offenses this year. The best Pac 12 quarterbacks returning for the 2022 season are names Pac 12 fans are very familiar with. But which one claims the top spot?

Best Pac 12 Quarterbacks Returning for 2022

Third Best Pac 12 Quarterback: Tanner McKee, Stanford

Stanford’s 2021 season was filled with very few bright spots. The questions about David Shaw’s job security (and whether the Cardinal decisions makers care) continue to get louder. One area where there are zero questions is the quarterback position. Tanner McKee had a standout season in his first as a starter. His 19 total touchdowns are the most by a freshman quarterback in program history. McKee also became just the third freshman quarterback to throw for over 2,000 yards in a season. The Cardinal are projected to have another rough season if they can’t figure out the offensive line. But that doesn’t take away from McKee’s place as one of the best Pac 12 quarterbacks heading into the 2022 season.

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Second Best Pac 12 Quarterback: Cameron Rising, Utah

With respect to McKee, there is a significant gap between where he is and the remaining two quarterbacks. Both the first and second-team All-Pac 12 team selections at the quarterback position are back for the 2022 season. Utah had its best season since 2008. A Pac 12 conference title and Rose Bowl appearance (to include some absolutely beautiful helmets) had all the makings of a great storybook ending to what was supposed to be Kyle Whittingham’s last season as head coach. Turns out those rumors were not true, and the close-fought loss to Ohio State has this team poised to make a return to the top of the conference.

That starts with their standout quarterback Cameron Rising. The first team All-Pac 12 quarterback had to battle quarterback Charlie Brewer early on in the season before taking hold of the job in week two. Rising had an impressive four-to-one touchdown to interception ratio with 20 passing touchdowns on the season. He also showed the ability to threaten defenses with his legs. Rising would finish the season with 499 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. Utah is never going to air the ball out offensively, as evident by Rising attempting 30+ passing in a game only three times. His season-high output through the air was only 306 yards against USC. He had a solid season for the Utes, but a lack of experience keeps him just out of the top spot overall.

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The Best Pac 12 Quarterback: Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA

Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been the UCLA quarterback since the BCS ended. That might be a slight exaggeration, but Thompon-Robinson will enter his fifth season in a Bruins uniform, his fourth as the starting quarterback.  Rising was good in 2021, but the best Pac 12 quarterback retuning for the 2022 season was just a little bit better. The narrative surrounding him was that he simply was a rushing threat in the quarterback position.  Thompson-Robinson certainly didn’t shy away from his talents as a rusher. He ran for 609 yards and nine touchdowns on 130 carries. But 2022 was his best career season as a passer. Thompson-Robinson threw 21 touchdowns to just six interceptions. He finished the season with 2409 yards passing.

The second-team All-Pac 12 quarterback helped Chip Kelly finally show really signs of progress in 2021. Thompson-Robinson’s pure playmaking abilities are one of the reasons he finds himself in the top spot. Trojan fans, and specifically Isaac Taylor-Stuart, got a real good look at Thompson-Robinson’s athleticism at the end of the 2021 season. If the Bruins are going to build on last season’s success, it means Thompson-Robinson will perform at a level to be considered one of the best in all of college football.

Honorable Mention: Caleb Williams, USC

What a time to be a USC Trojan. New head coach. Only two years until they swap their Pac 12 patches for B1G ones. And a big-time transfer quarterback to run Lincoln Riley’s system in the cardinal and gold. Of course, Caleb Williams isn’t just any transfer quarterback to play for Riley. Because he is a transfer from another conference, he gets honorable mention status. He was the starting quarterback for the Sooners last year under Riley. Williams burst onto the college football landscape leading the Sooners back against the rival Longhorns and held onto the starting job the rest of the season. In 11 total appearances, Williams combined for 27 touchdowns (21 passing), 2,345 yards of offense (1,912 passing), and only four turnovers. Could he find himself amongst the best Pac 12 quarterbacks this year? The expectation is he should finish right at the top with the best of them.

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