There will be no quarterback change at Stanford this week. And if David Shaw had his way, there will be no questions about the quarterback’s job status either.
The second-year coach stood behind redshirt junior Josh Nunes on Tuesday, delivering an unprompted and unscripted message at the beginning of his weekly news conference that his struggling quarterback will start for the No. 18 Cardinal (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12) against Arizona (3-2, 0-2) on Saturday.
The only quarterback change Shaw wants to see is a change in Nunes’ play.
Nunes completed 18-of-37 passes for 170 yards and an interception in Stanford’s 17-13 loss at Washington last week. The offense converted 5-of-18 third downs, never scored a touchdown and looked lost for the first time since Andrew Luck left.
After last Thursday night’s game, Shaw took exception to a reporter asking if he’d switch quarterbacks. Before anybody had the chance to ask at Stanford, Shaw squashed the subject.
“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. That doesn’t make any sense to me. We wanted to bronze his arm and his legs after USC, and then now I have to answer a hundred questions about how come we’re not changing quarterbacks. It’s asinine.”
Shaw, Nunes and everybody else on The Farm recognize the quarterback play has not been up to Stanford’s standard.
While nobody expected Nunes to live up to Luck’s legacy, Shaw wants the quarterback to complete 60 percent of his passes, not turn the ball over and manage the running game. Nunes is 65 of 125 (52 percent) for 785 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions in four games.