Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck has had a season to remember--even if the college football voters don't find it worthy of a Heisman Trophy, he definitely deserves a lot of votes to finish as a worthy runner-up. There's a whole highlight reel that the Stanford football department has dedicated to the signal-caller, and you can see plenty of the typical throws that'll have every NFL bottom-dweller focusing their eyes on him this winter.
But you also see some special plays that make you think, "Wow. If he had gone undefeated, the Luck versus Newton debate would have been a whole lot more interesting..." Here are five of them.
5. Luck helps Stanford pummels Wake Forest 68-24, punctuating the rout with a 52 yard touchdown run.
We knew Luck could throw, but no one knew until this season what a potent threat he could be running the ball. Although no one's going to mistake him for Newton's jaw-dropping open-field acrobatics, the man has a great sense of when to turn it loose, and here he broke open a victory against the Demon Deacons in style.
4. Luck starts off the scoring for Cardinal in shut-out of Washington
Simple zone read option. He drew in the Husky defensive end and strutted to the end zone untouched to set the tone for a 41-0 beatdown in Seattle. Not the most amazing play in the world, but it seemed to put to bed any questions of whether he had the skills to match with Jake Locker.
3. Luck lays out Shareece Wright after a USC fumble recovery.
It's always fun to see the quarterback look like a potential safety of his own, as he out-Wrighted Shareece Wright on this one after the fumble recovery. Luck also probably saved a touchdown, dramatically altering the course of the USC-Stanford contest.
I'm pretty sure at the time, it seemed like a pretty cool thing for a potential number one draft pick to be laying it all out on the line to save a touchdown. In hindsight? It's probably the type of decision that'll leave scouts very very concerned about Luck's mental fortitude.
2. Luck throws while falling on his knees against Arizona State
There aren't many signature Luck throws this year--he didn't have to adapt much because the offensive line protected him so well. Thus, he had all the time to survey the field, go through his progressions, and find the open receiver without a defender even breathing on him. It does make it hard
Thankfully, we did find one. And it was incredible. Credit to Doug Baldwin for coming for that one, but it was the type of throw that makes you think Luck can be one of the greats.
1. Luck runs over Cal safety Sean Cattouse, sets tone for Big Game rout
In a moment that'll go down in Big Game lore and the Cardinal up 3-0 in the first quarter, they faced a 3rd down inside their own end zone. With the coverage downfield blanketing his receivers, Luck took off, and made defenders like Cattouse look very bad on the way down the field. Stanford went onto score, and Luck went on to capture the Axe for the first time.
It's been that kind of season for the Cardinal quarterback. There's no Luck about it.