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Arizona to start Khalil Tate at quarterback against USC

01 October 2016: Arizona (14) Khalil Tate (QB) during an NCAA football game between the Arizona Wildcats and the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)
Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

Rich Rodriguez will be rolling the dice on Saturday as his Arizona Wildcats have named an inexperienced signal caller as their starter at quarterback against the USC Trojans. This is news for a game that is a must-win for two PAC-12 programs who have struggled in the opening two months of the season.

With Brandon Dawkins unavailable for the Wildcats, Rodriguez has made the call to go with Khalil Tate at the quarterback position against the Trojans. This is a  move that will give a further challenge to an Arizona team that has a tall task this week against a USC team that is hopeful to continue their win streak in conference play.

A highly touted freshman, Tate has thrown 25 passes as a backup this season. It is also worth noting that 112 yards is all of the total offense that has been registered by Tate in spot appearances behind Anu Solomon and the aforementioned Dawkins in just two games this season.

Tate was a star prep prospect at Serra High, a school that has been a pipeline for USC as Adoree Jackson and a handful of others currently play for the Trojans. This is a storyline that will up the ante for Tate’s debut as he will be going up against a list of former teammates from Serra in his first ever start at Arizona.

The move to start Tate is a forced one for the Wildcats due to injury, but at 2-4 it is likely the right time to go with their highly touted freshman as Rodriguez needs something drastic to turn this season around. Saturday will be a major experience for Tate in a tough spot in his first NCAA start as everyone will be watching to see if the prep star can make the jump to the top-level of the PAC-12 right away.

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