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October 2, 2012

Sticking with Nunes

Stanford won't make a quarterback change after its first loss of the season.

Unprompted, Cardinal coach David Shaw made it clear during his weekly press conference that he was sticking with first-year starter Josh Nunes after the redshirt junior's poor performance in the team's 17-13 loss to Washington on Thursday.

"I'm not going to answer any questions about whether we're going to play another quarterback. Josh is the starting quarterback," Shaw said. "He played well the first game, he played much better the second game, he played an OK half against USC then an outstanding half against USC and is coming off a bad game. We're not changing quarterbacks."

Nunes, who won what was considered a close competition with redshirt sophomore Brett Nottingham in the Fall, completed 18 of 37 passes for 170 yards with an interception as the Cardinal failed to score an offensive touchdown in Seattle.

In his first road game of his career, Nunes looked like what he was: a first-year starter playing his first road game in a loud environment on the national stage.

Shaw said making a change wouldn't make sense.

"We wanted to bronze his arm and his legs after USC and then now I get to answer 100 questions about changing quarterbacks," he said. "It's asinine."

For Shaw, the recipe for improvement is simple: "We just got to throw and catch. It's not like we haven't had guys open. It's not like we haven't had opportunities. We have to take advantage of those opportunities."

Nunes struggled with short and intermediate passes, but was actually accurate on most of his deeper throws. The lone exception, according to Shaw, was the last throw of the game.

"You got a 6-8 guy who has got a wide range and the one thing you can't do is throw the ball too far down the field," Shaw said. "(Levine Toilolo) has shown the last three years he can adjust to balls thrown doggone near anywhere. We just can't leave it too far down the field."

That's what happened and the pass was intercepted, ending any hope the Cardinal had of retaking the lead late in the fourth quarter.


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