QBs to split more snaps for No. 15 Stanford
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — The competition to be Andrew Luck's long-term replacement is not as settled as it once seemed.
With Josh Nunes struggling to consistently move the offense, Stanford coach David Shaw said Tuesday that he plans to play backup quarterback Kevin Hogan more. Hogan will take about 12 to 20 snaps at Colorado on Saturday, putting pressure on Nunes to improve after several sloppy starts.
Hogan, a redshirt freshman, played only about six downs in each of the last two games. While most of that time has been as a read-option or wildcat-style quarterback, expect more passes and packages soon.
"He's not ready to take it all right now," Shaw said, "and I'm not ready to take it all away from Josh."
Nunes has started all eight games since the Indianapolis Colts selected Luck with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft. The redshirt junior completed 7 of 15 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown as Stanford squeezed past lowly Washington State 24-17 last week. He never found his rhythm, and at times looked lost.
The defense, which has carried the Cardinal all season, sacked Jeff Tuel a school-record 10 times, and Ed Reynolds returned an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to bail out the offense again.
Now the No. 15 Cardinal (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) head to Boulder to face the beleaguered Buffaloes (1-7, 1-4). Future playing time could be at stake with matchups against No. 13 Oregon State and second-ranked Oregon that will decide the Pac-12 North Division up next.
Asked if he'd consider starting Hogan should the trend for both quarterbacks continue, Shaw said: "Anything is possible. Anything is possible, which is always the thing when you're going to give a guy more time at any position.
"We just can't have another half like we had this past game where we had 15 plays the whole first half. We have to be more efficient."
Washington State, the only winless team in Pac-12 play, had 25 first downs to 12 for Stanford. The Cardinal converted five of them, only put together one complete drive all game, and Shaw spelled Nunes for five consecutive plays with Hogan between the third and fourth quarters.
Apparently Shaw has finally seen enough to audible from a formula that so often hasn't worked.
Nunes beat out strong-armed Brett Nottingham, once considered the favorite for the starting job, in fall practice. Hogan emerged late in that competition, and even though the depth chart still lists Nottingham as No. 2, Hogan has since passed the redshirt sophomore for playing time.
While Shaw said in spring practice he disliked a two-quarterback approach because it could disrupt rhythm, circumstances have forced him to consider otherwise.
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