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Ranking the Pac-12's Offensive Triplets for 2015

Anu Solomon

Anu Solomon

The Pac-12 is one of college football’s top conferences for offense, and the league is loaded with talent headed into 2015. Even with Marcus Mariota leaving Oregon, there’s no shortage of proven options at quarterback, and the skill talent is deep at running back and receiver.

To help pick the top offensive triplets in each of the Power 5 leagues, we devised a simple formula. We ranked the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers and assigned a 12 to the No. 1 player, with the point total decreasing to just one point to the No. 12 ranked player at each position. Only one player from each team was ranked per position.

Ranking the Pac-12’s Offensive Triplets for 2015

1. Arizona

Total Points: 29
QB: Anu Solomon (3)
RB: Nick Wilson (4)
WR: Cayleb Jones (3)

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Arizona averaged 33.4 points per game in Pac-12 contests last season, and coach Rich Rodriguez’s offense could be even better in 2015. Quarterback Anu Solomon is returning to full strength after suffering from an ankle injury late in 2014. Wilson and Jones are among the Pac-12’s top playmakers.

2. Oregon

Total Points: 27
QB: Vernon Adams (4)
RB: Royce Freeman (3)
WR: Byron Marshall (5)

Marcus Mariota will be missed, but the Ducks offense should still remain among the Pac-12’s best. Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams replaces Mariota at quarterback, and Oregon’s running back and wide receiving corps are among the best in college football.

Related: Oregon Football Turns the Page from "Emotional" Ending

3. USC

Total Points: 27
QB: Cody Kessler (1)
RB: Justin Davis (10)
WR: JuJu Smith (1)

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The only thing holding USC back from ranking No. 1 on this list is the committee approach at running back. Will someone step up as the go-to back in 2015? Cody Kessler ranks as the Pac-12’s best quarterback, and JuJu Smith should have a huge year as the Trojans’ top receiver.

Related: USC's Cody Kessler is the Pac-12's No. 1 QB for 2015

4. California

Total Points: 26
QB: Jared Goff (2)
RB: Daniel Lasco (5)
WR: Kenny Lawler (6)

The Golden Bears ranked No. 2 in the Pac-12 (conference-only games) by averaging 37.6 points per contest last year. Don’t be surprised if that number climbs even higher in 2015, as coach Sonny Dykes has a loaded receiver corps, one of the nation’s rising stars at quarterback in Jared Goff, along with an underrated running back in Daniel Lasco.

5. UCLA

Total Points: 24
QB: Josh Rosen (9)
RB: Paul Perkins (2)
WR: Jordan Payton (4)

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Uncertainty remains at quarterback with the departure of Brett Hundley, but true freshman Josh Rosen is one of the top recruits in the 2015 signing class. Running back Paul Perkins led the Pac-12 with 1,575 rushing yards last season, and receiver Jordan Payton averaged 14.3 yards per reception in conference games.

6. Arizona State

Total Points: 21
QB: Mike Bercovici (5)
RB: Demario Richard (6)
WR: D.J. Foster (7)

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The Sun Devils have a balanced trio and could easily climb this list by the end of 2015. Bercovici has played well in limited action, and Richard is set to have a breakout year as Arizona State’s No. 1 running back. D.J. Foster will slide from running back to receiver to replace the production lost by Jaelen Strong.

Related: Arizona State's Todd Graham Ranks as the Pac-12's No. 1 Coach for 2015

7. Colorado

Total Points: 19
QB: Sefo Liufau (7)
RB: Christian Powell (11)
WR: Nelson Spruce (2)

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Expect to see plenty of Liufau to Spruce connections in Boulder this spring, as the Buffaloes ranked third in the Pac-12 with 545 pass attempts in 2014. Liufau is one of the conference’s rising stars, while Spruce tied for the Pac-12 lead with 12 touchdown catches last year. Christian Powell leads the way in the backfield after leading the team in rushing in each of the last three seasons.

8. Utah

Total Points: 18
QB: Travis Wilson (8)
RB: Devontae Booker (1)
WR: Kenneth Scott (12)

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If the passing game takes a step forward, there’s potential for the Utes to rank higher on the list by the end of 2015. Devontae Booker is coming off a standout 2014 campaign and ranks as Athlon’s top running back in the Pac-12. Wilson cut his interceptions from 16 in 2013 to just five in 313 attempts last year.

Related: Utah's Devontae Booker Ranks as the Pac-12's No. 1 RB for 2015

9. Stanford

Total Points: 17
QB: Kevin Hogan (6)
RB: Christian McCaffrey (8)
WR: Devon Cajuste (8)

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The Pac-12’s overall offensive depth pushes Stanford down this list a bit, but the Cardinal has a balanced and effective trio. Quarterback Kevin Hogan finished the year on a high note, and the offense should benefit from a full year of Christian McCaffrey as the go-to running back. Devon Cajuste averaged 16.4 yards per catch in 2014.

10. Oregon State

Total Points: 10
QB: Seth Collins (12)
RB: Storm Woods (7)
WR: Victor Bolden (10)

Solving the quarterback position is new coach Gary Andersen’s biggest task this offseason. Collins enrolled in time to compete this spring and has an edge to start over redshirt freshman Nick Mitchell. Storm Woods should reach 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career, while Bolden is back after leading the team with 72 receptions in 2014.

Related: Oregon State Defensive Coordinator Kalani Sitake is a Coach on the Rise

11. Washington State

Total Points: 8
QB: Luke Falk (10)
RB: Jamal Morrow (12)
WR: River Cracraft (9)

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This is another team poised to climb the rankings if the pieces fall into place. Luke Falk and Peyton Bender are locked into a tight battle for the starting quarterback spot, and the receiving corps is loaded with playmakers. Washington State won’t run the ball a ton, but Morrow caught 61 passes last year.

12. Washington

Total Points: 8
QB: K.J. Carta-Samuels (11)
RB: Dwayne Washington (9)
WR: Jaydon Mickens (11)

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Second-year coach Chris Petersen has a busy offseason ahead. Washington returns only nine starters, has uncertainty at quarterback and must replace three standout defensive players from 2014. K.J. Carta-Samuels gets a slight edge at quarterback, but Jeff Lindquist and Jake Browning aren’t far behind. Washington rushed for at least 100 yards in three out of his last four games and should see an increased workload in 2015.