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Thursday, September 22, 2011
Bye week grades: quarterbacks

By Kevin Gemmell

During the bye week and over the next couple of days, we'll break down Stanford position-by-position and see which units are making the grade through the first quarter of the season.

QUARTERBACKS

Grade: A-

Summary: As you'd expect, Andrew Luck has been pretty darn good. His touchdown-to-interception ratio is a stellar 8-to-1 (and the one pick was a fluky tipped ball) and he's completing 67.1 percent of his passes. That number is down a little from last season, but he's still been considerably accurate.

There's not much to say about Luck that hasn't been said already. Smart player, quick release, good arm strength, sells the play-action very well. He has had a couple of passes that haven't been to his liking -- a couple red zone passes against Arizona come to mind. But, overall, he's been as steady as people have expected and is one of the first three names mentioned when Heisman Trophy talk pops up.

Backups: I've really enjoyed getting the opportunity to watch Brett Nottingham play. One coach told me he has total command in the huddle and the rest of the players respond very well to him. He's appeared in two games and has completed 3 of 4 passes for 55 yards -- including a 39-yard touchdown against San Jose State. He also had a nice little 10-yard scramble against Duke. Robbie Picazo has played less, but is a perfect 3-for-3 for 15 yards. Coach David Shaw hasn't gone out of his way to officially declare a backup yet, but Nottingham seems to be getting the first nod when the opportunities are available. Depending on how conference play goes, there's a good chance we'll continue to see these two in the fourth quarter.