EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Justin Herbert was named the starting quarterback for Oregon against Arizona on Saturday, returning after a five-game absence because of a broken collarbone.
Herbert was injured in Oregon’s 45-24 victory over California on Sept. 30. He left the game near the end of the first quarter after a 7-yard touchdown run.
He was replaced as starter by true freshman Braxton Burmeister. The Ducks went 1-4 over the course of Herbert’s absence.
Herbert has thrown for 1,264 yards and nine touchdowns with two interceptions this season. He’s also rushed for three scores.
Oregon was 5-5 overall and 2-5 in the Pac-12 going into the game against the Wildcats (7-3, 5-2). Needing a win to be bowl eligible in Willie Taggart’s first season as head coach, Oregon hosts Oregon State in the Civil War next Saturday.
Herbert became Oregon’s starter as a freshman last season when graduate transfer Dakota Prukop struggled. He played in nine games, throwing for 1,936 yards with 19 touchdowns.
The injury was a setback for Herbert, who was looking forward to establishing himself as a leader this season as the Ducks’ starter from the start.
He spent time over the summer at the Manning Passing Academy, learning from fellow counselors Sam Darnold from USC and Jake Browning from Washington. Herbert also bulked up, putting some 15 pounds on his 6-foot-6 frame.
Burmeister threw for 324 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran for 106 yards and three scores.
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