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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Oregon’s Bennett might transfer, and Arizona is a great fit. Here’s why:

Oregon quarterback Bryan Bennett lost the starting job competition on Friday to redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota, and now it appears he might be transferring.

On Tuesday, per Oregon Live, Bennett told reporters he didn’t know whether he would be transferring or not.

If the 6-foot-3, 204-pound signal caller does wind up transferring, Arizona becomes an intriguing possibility for Bennett for a few reasons.

System fit

Both Oregon and Arizona head coaches Chip Kelly and Rich Rodriguez run the spread option offensive system, and always have. As a sophomore in Kelly’s program, Bennett is already well versed in the offense, and the transition to Arizona would be seamless.


Bennett hails from California. Arizona has 45 players on its roster from California. If he is trying to stay in the Pac-12 region, Arizona certainly will be a top choice if not for the proximity to his home in Los Angeles (eight hour drive, hour and a half flight), than for the weather change from Oregon to Arizona.

Chance to start in Pac-12

Matt Scott is graduating, and backup B.J. Denker will be before Bennett is eligible to play (as a transfer, he’d have to sit out a year). While there’s a stable of possibilities on tap for the 2013 roster, as of right now there is no guarantee who will be starting at quarterback for the UA two years from now.

Javelle Allen, a freshman from Prosper, Tex., will be a junior by the time 2014 rolls around but, at this point, it is unclear what sort of impact Allen is ready to make.

Another possibility would be incoming Lousiana Tech transfer Nick Isham. But Isham will be learning a new system, and his numbers for the Bulldogs in 2011 — 1,457 passing yards, eight touchdowns, seven interceptions, and -19 yards, yes negative — are far from inspiring.

Perhaps the biggest challenger to become the starter might be 2013 freshman Anu Solomon from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. A four-star recruit, according to, Solomon is considered one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in his class, which is a perfect fit for Rodriguez’s offense. But, with recruits, you just never know how it’s going to pan out.

Bennett has learned from Kelly, played behind Darron Thomas and already has some experience in Pac-12 play, seeing action in eight 2011 games, throwing six touchdowns against zero interceptions.
Plus, what better way to get back at the team that overlooked you than to take them on in an opposing uniform? Bennett would be able to show Kelly and the Oregon faithful why Mariota wasn’t the right choice.

“If someone’s disappointed, that’s their problem,” Kelly told the media after choosing Mariota. “You don’t look at it as a disappointment; you look at it as a challenge. That’s the way we’ve always looked at it because, again, it’s competition every day.

“I’ll say this: I think Bryan Bennett would start for a lot of universities in the country.”

If Bennett declares he will transfer, as expected, Rodriguez should do whatever he can to bring him to Arizona.

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