Position Review: Quarterback

Arizona had extraordinary play from Matt Scott this season. Read on for a review on his performance and a look at who could be the next starter at the quarterback position.

This year:

Matt Scott – After taking a year off and redshirting behind Nick Foles, there was never a question as to whether Scott would start this season. However, few could have seen the success that he had this year coming.

Scott finished his career at Arizona with a strong performance all season long, missing just one game, against Colorado, with a concussion. The senior led the Wildcats to an 8-5 record, the best first-season record in Head Coach Rich Rodriguez's career. Eight wins is also the highest total that Arizona has had since the 2009 season, when Scott last battled for the starting position.

He finished the season with 3,620 passing yards, just short of supplanting Willie Tuitama in the team's second highest spot. It was no surprise once the offense got flowing, as Scott also had the third highest amount of passing attempts and completions in school history this season.

The quarterback led Arizona to a series of upsets throughout the season, including a 320-yard performance in just the second game of the season against Oklahoma State. The highlight of Scott's season may have been in a loss as he threw for 491 yards, third highest in Wildcat history, against Stanford.

Scott also had a few lows on the season as he failed to throw a touchdown pass against Oregon and UCLA, both games that Arizona lost by a hefty margin. The loss to the Bruins was particularly painful to the senior as he left it with a concussion.

For the most part, Scott had a productive season, only throwing fourteen interceptions compared to 27 touchdowns. With that being said, some of Scott's interceptions came in clutch moments and stopped Wildcat drives late in games.

With the introduction of the new read-option offense, the quarterback was perfect for Rodriguez's scheme. Scott finished the season with the second highest rushing total on the team, gaining 506 yards on the ground. His highest total of the season came in an upset win against Southern Cal, a victory that could be considered the milestone of the season.

Who's gone: Matt Scott (graduated)

Who's back: Javelle Allen (freshman), B.J. Denker (senior), Josh Kern, Nick Isham

Who's coming: Jesse Scroggins (junior), Anu Solomon (freshman)

Outlook: With an experienced senior graduating, it may be difficult to replace Scott's productivity in just one year. Denker started just a single game this season and saw some mop-up time in five other games, but didn't seem like he was prepared to be the starting signal caller.

In his only start on the season, he completed twelve passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns, but it should be noted that he was facing the Colorado defense, which was the worst in the conference this season.

If the senior expects to challenge for the starting spot, he needs to work on his decision making and defensive reads as there were times during the season that Denker struggled with these.

Behind Denker is Allen, a redshirt freshman. By all accounts, Allen wasn't ready to play this season and wasn't really expected to. Out of high school, the quarterback was known mostly for his legs, with some work needing to be done on his passing game. If Allen progresses through the offseason and has learned the offense well, he could have an outside shot at contending for the starting job in spring drills.

The final player that can contend for the starting spot in the spring is junior college transfer Jesse Scroggins. The junior was one of the hottest quarterback prospects coming out of high school, but had a few setbacks and decided to transfer to El Camino College in order to start over.

He had an injury this season at El Camino and his statistics weren't great as he threw for 1,148 yards and eight touchdowns. Scroggins also threw five interceptions while completing just 79 of his 172 pass attempts on the season.

It will be interesting to see how well the transfer plays coming off of his shoulder injury. He has been scouted as a pro-style quarterback, but is decently mobile and can buy himself time if he needs to.

Even though he won't be in Tucson in time for spring ball, it is important not to count out incoming freshman Anu Solomon.

The highly touted freshman started sixty consecutive games for Bishop Gorman (Nev.) High School under center. Along the way, Solomon threw 135 touchdown passes and just 16 interceptions. He also won four state titles during his time in high school, which could bring a much-needed winning tradition to Arizona's football team.

Solomon brings the most versatility to the Wildcats' offense. The incoming freshman can run and throw incredibly well. While it is not a long shot, it is also not a certainty that he will step in and be handed the reigns. Arizona's offense can be difficult to master and Rodriguez was adamant this season about not playing freshmen that he couldn't trust.

With the three players battling for the top spot in spring ball, a leader may emerge as the candidate to lead the Arizona offense this season.

However, it is most likely that the competition will carry into fall camp with a starter not being announced until the start of the season.

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