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Oregon coach Chip Kelly on Nick Foles: ‘I watch in awe sometimes’

Nick Foles threw for 1,160 yards and 10 touchdowns in three career games against Oregon. Photo by Chris Morrison-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona Wildcats quarterback Nick Foles, after throwing for 398 yards against Oregon, is fourth in the nation in passing yards, averaging 361.75 per game.

He is on pace to throw for 4,341 yards, which would shatter the season mark of 3,683, set by Willie Tuitama in 2007.

“I’ll tell you what; I’m glad Nick Foles is graduating,” Oregon coach Chip Kelly said after his team’s 56-31 victory Saturday night.

“I catch myself watching him in awe sometimes. … Nick is a hell of a football player. That kid’s a warrior. He’s as good as anyone in the country.”

Foles missed some early deep throws, wasn’t helped by several drops by his receivers and took some hellacious hits, sacked five times for the second consecutive week.

“Nick, again, was spectacular,” UA coach Mike Stoops said. “He continues to be just a great player. I think his play speaks for himself.”

Foles didn’t do any speaking for himself late Saturday night. He typically talks to the media after games, but he was not made available after the loss to Ducks … and no one could blame him if he wanted to get a little extra treatment or go straight home and sleep for 12 hours.

Foles set a career-high with 57 pass attempts, completing 34. It wasn’t his most accurate game, but the Cats did take a few more shots down field that usual and there were those dropped balls, especially early in the game.

“Our receivers, that was the worst we ever played in a half of football,” Stoops said.

Foles threw three touchdown passes, two to David Roberts and another to Richard Morrison. Juron Criner nearly had one for a 49-yard score, but he dropped it.

“Sometimes it wasn’t us beating them,” Kelly said. “It was them beating themselves.”

Foles has thrown 183 passes this season — and 200 in a row dating to last season — without an interception. That first number is a school in-season record. Arizona doesn’t have an established record spanning two seasons for consecutive passes without an interception, although the 200 is believed to be record.

He is even 1-for-1 throwing left-handed, as he switched hands to dump off a pass to running back Keola Antolin while being taken down by a pair of Oregon defenders.

Led by Foles, Arizona scored 21 consecutive points over the second and third quarters to pull within 35-24 before the Oregon offense responded and slammed the door.

“Against Nick Foles, we knew this game wasn’t in hand,” Kelly said.

In the end, though, it was another loss for the Wildcats. And, as Foles surely will say next week in interviews, he’ll trade all his stats for a victory.


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