Are Pac-12 defenses suffering from the lack of quality quarterback play?

·2 min read

Once again, the Pac-12 had a chance to prove the conference is among the nation’s elite in college football and once again, the Pac-12 fails.

Oregon was run out of Mercedes-Benz Stadium by Georgia 49-3 and the conference favorite, Utah, went into The Swamp and lost 29-26 to an unranked Florida team.

It’s really becoming old.

But it shows exactly how much the conference needs to go in order to play with the SEC teams. So where’s the disconnect? Why can’t the Pac-12 teams keep up?

As usual, we went to someone who has the answers to these questions. Matt Zemek, editor of TrojansWire.com, has many thoughts and he seems to think to know what the answers are.

Quarterback play matters. Having it matters, but also knowing how to defend against it matters. Cam Rising was the best QB in the conference last year, and he was the second-best QB in the Florida game. Anthony Richardson is less experienced than Rising. He has a first-year head coach. Yet, he clearly outplayed Rising, and Utah could not figure out how to stop Richardson even though he did not hit a really deep or long downfield pass. There was simply no great QB in the Pac-12 last year.

Everyone needs to raise the bar for QB play, and it’s frankly a shame that USC won’t stay in the Pac-12 long-term, because the Trojans were about to force Oregon and everyone else to upgrade at the position.

Zemek might have a chance to cover a stud quarterback thanks to Caleb Williams, who transferred in from Oklahoma. Oregon has its own transfer quarterback in Bo Nix. But the Ducks signal caller had a rough time against Georgia, unfortunately. Zemek seems to think USC got the better end of that deal.

“Caleb Williams is that guy. Bo Nix is certainly not,” he said.

Competition breeds competition and it forces everyone on both sides of the ball to become better. Pac-12 defenses are suffering because they don’t see elite offenses on a weekly basis. On those few occasions when they do see elite offenses, such as Georgia and Florida, they suffer and pay the price, ultimately resulting in losses and the Pac-12 misses out on the college football playoff yet again and the vicious cycle continues.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire