The 2019 season was supposed to be one of redemption for Khalil Tate after an injury-plagued 2018, and that is exactly how things are playing out so far.
The Arizona Wildcats quarterback is currently the eighth-best quarterback in college football—and No. 1 QB in the Pac-12—according to Pro Football Focus’ ratings. The ratings are determined by grading every single play Tate has played.
Here is PFF’s explanation:
Perhaps the nation’s most electric dual-threat quarterback when healthy, Tate has ripped off an impressive 12 rushing conversions (first downs + touchdowns) while averaging 8.6 yards per attempt. No one on the field is as fast as Tate on the ground and he can make defenders miss at ease. That all goes without saying that he’s improved his passing grades to career-high, near-elite levels this year. He’s completing 67.5% of his attempts and averaging 9.1 yards per pass through the air. He has the 35th-ranked adjusted completion percentage to boot and as he continues to play at a healthy level, there may be no stopping him as he’s approaching overall grade levels he saw during his Heisman candidacy season of 2017.
As far as counting numbers go, Tate has completed 81 of 120 passes for 1,088 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions.
While he dealt with a hamstring injury against Colorado, he has already surpassed his 2018 rushing totals by scampering for 261 yards on 36 attempts (7.3 yards per carry). Last season, Tate only rushed for 224 yards on 74 carries.
If there is one thing Tate needs to clean up, it’s the interceptions, which more often than not have been the product of him trying to do too much—like being picked off while throwing across his body or forcing a ball down the field into double coverage.
However, part of that aggression is what makes him such a dangerous player for opposing defenses, and so far in 2019 it has helped the Wildcats more than it has hurt them.
Find PFF’s full quarterback rankings here.
Utah’s Tyler Huntley checks in at No. 10, Washington’s Jacob Eason is No. 11, Oregon State’s Jake Luton is No. 18, and Oregon’s Justin Herbert is No. 19.