Arizona has an opportunity to make the 2010 football season its most successful season in program history. Accomplishing that is going to be a very difficult task, but given the state of the Pac-10, it's certainly not out of the question.
In order for the Wildcats to win the conference and earn the first Rose Bowl bid in school history, there are several players that are going to need to step up. The key to winning the conference is having key impact players all over the field and having them develop chemistry in order win as a team.
The first player we will look at is quarter back Nick Foles.
Foles entered his sophomore season as the backup to Matt Scott. Scott led the team to a 2-1 record in three starts, but struggled to move the offense on a consistent basis.
Foles was inserted into the starting lineup in the Pac-10 opened and the Arizona offense seemingly took flight from that point forward.
Foles went on to finish the season completing 64.3% of his passes while throwing for nearly 2500 yards, 19 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. Foles also compiled a 7-4 record as a starter against some very tough competition.
Foles game fit's the team a bit better than Scott does. With all of the wide receiver talent on the field, Foles arm and quick release allows many receivers to be involved with the offense and keeps the defense on its heels. He has a powerful arm that will also stretch the opposition and make it easier for the Wildcats to switch to the running game when they so choose.
The balance of the offense allows Foles to work his magic, but if there is an area he must work on, it's consistency.
There really isn't anything Foles does bad, but there were a few times he found himself in a funk that he just simply couldn't shake. This was particularly evident against Cal, ASU and Nebraska. In those games, Foles found passing to come much more difficult than he experienced earlier in the season.
While Foles finds himself in a "competition" of sorts with Scott, it's hard to imagine Scott winning the job this offseason. While Scott has responded well to new quarterback coach Frank Scelfo, Foles has been equally impressive and is continuing to build on his chemistry with the wide receivers on the roster.
There is no doubt that Foles is the primary key to UA's success in the upcoming season. If he is able to allude the shortcomings he experienced throughout the season as a sophomore, then his junior campaign could be a memorable one for not only him, but the rest of the Arizona faithful.
It's as simple as this - If good Foles shows up consistently, then the Wildcats CAN win the Pac-10. If the Foles that showed up against Cal, ASU and Nebraska presents himself, then it could be a very long year for UA.
With a new, reputable quarterback coach, Foles should see his game only improve in what should be his second full season as a starter.
Foles vital to success
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