Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NCF Nation [Print without images]

Monday, September 29, 2008
Dangerous jobs: Pac-10 quarterback


Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Seems to me that only five Pac-10 schools are presently blessed with stability at quarterback, and one of those five was No. 3 on the depth chart during spring practices.

Pause for a moment and knock on wood for the lucky 50 percent.

Come on Duck fans. Be a good sport about it.

Rudy Carpenter is The Man at Arizona State without question. Same goes for Willie Tuitama at Arizona. Oregon State's Lyle Moevao has improved more than any QB in the conference. Mark Sanchez remains firmly atop the USC offense. And UCLA has little choice other than Kevin Craft.

But injuries and performance issues are riddling the other five teams.

The Bay Area QB "controversies" are fairly mellow right now, with the heat drifting this week from Palo Alto to Berkeley.

Stanford's Tavita Pritchard took another step forward at Washington, and his biggest rival in terms of pure talent, freshman Andrew Luck, is almost assuredly not going to burn his redshirt at this point.

Still, if Pritchard struggles at Notre Dame, things could open up again, even without Luck in the picture.

Meanwhile, a few unproductive weeks has Cal QB Kevin Riley facing a challenge from former starter Nate Longshore.

Coach Jeff Tedford said after the Bears blistered Colorado State 42-7 with minimal help from the passing game that he was unsure who'd start against Arizona State on Saturday.

The Longshore-Riley debate also has renewed among fans, most of whom were strongly pro-Riley because of Longshore's tendency to throw interceptions at inopportune times.

As for the injury plague... Oregon got through a weekend without adding a QB to its injury list, and may even get Justin Roper back for the visit to USC on Saturday.

But woeful Washington filled the injury void, with star QB Jake Locker going down with a broken thumb on his right, throwing hand, which he suffered while delivering a successful, but ill-fated block on a reverse. That means the desperate, 0-4 Huskies will turn to redshirt freshman Ronnie Fouch at Arizona this weekend.

So, for those keeping track at home:

This can't possibly get any worse. Or can it?