The conversation of quarterbacks in the Pac-12 begins with Mariota. One of the things that makes him so tough is his ability to take care of the football. In 26 games he's thrown just 10 interceptions. In that span, he's thrown 63 touchdowns and he's a 65.8 percent passer for his career. And that's just throwing the ball. Mariota is also a very capable runner. Oregon was severely affected by Mariota's inability to run late in the regular season, which hurt the Ducks' chances of winning the Pac-12 North.
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Brett Hundley - UCLA, Redshirt Junior
The highest rated quarterback to ever sign with UCLA out of high school has certainly lived up to expectations. It would surprise no one if at season's end Hundley joined Gary Beban as the only Bruins to win the Heisman Trophy. Hundley can do it all. Last season at Utah he threw a touchdown pass, rushed for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass, and even punted in a UCLA 34-27 win.
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Taylor Kelly - Arizona State, Redshirt Senior
The Arizona State quarterback had as many Division I offers coming out of high school as he had stars. Kelly was a two-star recruit coming out of Eagle High School in Idaho in 2010. As far as success stories go, Kelly has authored a pretty good one. His nine rush touchdowns last season trail only Brett Hundley among returning quarterbacks. Kelly had five 300-yard games last season. They all came in the school's first five games of 2013.
Cody Kessler - USC, Redshirt Junior
New head coach Steve Sarkisian says one of the things he likes the most about Kessler is his ability to get the ball out of his hands quickly. That could be beneficial while executing Sarkisian's offense. After officially being named the starter after the start of the 2013 season, Kessler went on to have some impressive performances. In three separate games last season, he completed at least 80 percent of his passes. Kessler isn't mentioned with the Mariota's, Hundley's, or Mannion's of the conference but if the Las Vegas Bowl (22-of-30, 344 yards, four touchdowns, one interception) is any indication of what can be expected from him in 2014, it could be a special year for Kessler and the Trojans.
Sean Mannion - Oregon State, Redshirt Senior
Mannion is literally the leader in the Pac when it comes to experience. His 31 career starts are tops in the conference and nationally trail just Braxton Miller of Ohio State, who has started 32 career games. In 2013 Mannion totaled career highs in completions (400), attempts (603), completion percentage (66.3), pass yards (4,662), and touchdowns (37). Despite his second half woes last season, he still ended up the Pac-12's leader in total offense. The concerning part, however, is as the competition increased, so did Mannion's struggles.
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Connor Halliday - Washington State, Redshirt Senior
Remember when Halliday threw the ball 89 times last season against Oregon? Just in case you don't, that's just an indicator that he throws the ball, a lot. Halliday led the nation in attempts in 2013 with 714. That's 55 more than the next highest total. With that many attempts there's sure to be some completions to the other team. Halliday led the nation in that category as well with his 22 interceptions. He will throw the ball - a lot - in 2014 and has the best wide receiving corp in the Pac-12 to spread it around to.
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Travis Wilson - Utah, Junior
There was concern Wilson may have to retire from the game following a concussion that ended his 2013 season. Following the concussion, a pre-existing head injury was discovered. The San Clemente alum was cleared for 2014 in June. Prior to his injury, Wilson threw 1,827 yards in just nine games which is more than his 2012 output in 12 games. Wilson's 16 interceptions, however, were second in the nation last season.
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Kevin Hogan - Stanford, Senior
In his first two seasons as a starter, Hogan wasn't asked to do much playing behind a massive offensive line and having a vaunted rushing attack to lean on. 2014 may just make the senior show what he's made of. The Cardinal need to replace five of their top six offensive linemen from a year ago and find someone to carry the ball. Hogan's passing yards increased in 2013 in his first full year as a starter but his completion percentage dipped dramatically - 10 percentage points. Still, Hogan is 64.7 percent passer for his career and he could very well be called on to carry a heavier load in 2014.
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Jared Goff - Cal, Sophomore
Last season Goff became the first true freshman quarterback to start a season opener in program history. Goff set school records for passing yards, total offense, completions, and attempts while starting every game for the Golden Bears. In four of his first five games he threw for at least 300 yards. That included two 400-yard games to start the season and a 500-yard output in fifth career game.
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Sefo Liufau - Colorado, Redshirt Sophomore
With all of the experience the Pac-12 has at the quarterback position in 2014, Liufau is bringing up the rear in the category - among returners, at least. Liufau started just seven games last season and was near the 60 percent clip in completions. In eight total games he threw 1,779 yards with 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions. If he qualified, his 128.3 passing efficiency rating would have ranked higher than Washington State's Halliday and Cal's Goff. In 2014, he will be without one of 2013's best receivers - Paul Richardson Jr. - a second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks.