Twenty-three different Pac-12 quarterbacks took at least 20 dropbacks last season. Fourteen of them had a higher grade from Pro Football Focus than Arizona’s best.

Will Plummer played the bulk of the season and struggled, tossing nine interceptions against six touchdowns and completing just 58% of his passes. Jordan McCloud was intercepted five times on 73 total pass attempts. Gunner Cruz was the third-lowest-graded Power Five quarterback with at least 100 drop backs.

The spot struggled.

More likely than not, those struggles are the way of the past.

This offseason, Arizona infused a massive amount of talent into the roster, but perhaps no room was better upgraded than the quarterback group. Not only did the UA bring in the Pac-12’s reigning Freshman Offensive Player of the Year in Jayden de Laura, but it also signed freshman Noah Fifita who came in and instantly pushed for the backup job.

As the Wildcats get ready to open the new season, that improved quarterback room gives coach Jedd Fisch and his staff plenty of confidence.

“Certainly the quarterback position being secure adds a confidence among the locker room, as well as the third floor, because you know who is taking those snaps, you know what he can do, you know what you want him to do,” Fisch told reporters this week. “We feel very confident in Jayden and what he’s been trying to get done. He has to just know that he can go out there and do everything we asked of him because he certainly looks like he can. He’s shown the ability to be able to process our offense.

“We’ve tried to set our schematics and our Xs and Os up for his success. And I believe that if he goes out there and trusts the guys around them, believes in the other 10 like he’s shown that he has the last month, or last couple of weeks of training camp for sure, we feel a lot better about having Jayden back there as a team. We feel very good about having him be our leader.”

Last season, de Laura threw for a conference-leading 2,789 yards and 23 touchdowns. He completed 63% of his passes and only tossed nine interceptions. In Washington State’s 40-13 win over Washington to close the regular-season, de Laura went 27-for-32 passing for 245 yards. The week prior, he threw four touchdown passes in a 44-18 win over Arizona.

Now, he’ll look to produce wins for Arizona. Fisch has confidence he can. His first opportunity comes Saturday when the Wildcats head to San Diego State to battle the Aztecs. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. PT on CBS.