Quarterback Andrew Luck played his last game for the Stanford Cardinals Monday night in a 41-38 overtime loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Fiesta Bowl. The game was tied at 38 in the 4th quarter when Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson shanked a 35-yard kick, sending the game into overtime. He had missed a kick earlier in the game, and would go on to miss another in overtime, three in all, after only missing three total during the regular season.
Andrew Luck was as good as usual, completing 27 of 31 for 347 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Luck, however, wasn't satisfied. I play to win football games, he told the Associated Press. Yeah, it's great to have good stats, efficiency, whatever. But at the end of the day it's about winning. That's why I love football. It's not about one person. Win or lose, no one ever gets all the credit or all the blame.
Williamson didn't feel that way though, and simply shook his head no when reporters approached him after the game. However Luck rallied around him, and was confident the rest of the team would as well. Put yourself in that situation, Luck told the Associated Press. Yeah, it's tough. It's very tough. I know guys will rally around him. He's got a very bright future in front of him. The media tends to want a scapegoat or a hero, and that's just not the case in any football game.
Luck, son of former Houston Oiler quarterback Oliver Luck, has won a plethora of awards throughout his three-year college career, most recently being named All-American for the second time and the Maxwell Award as Player of the Year. He was also the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy for the second time, losing to Robert Griffin III, quarterback of the Baylor Bears.
Andrew Luck is leaving Stanford as the all-time leader in total offense, touchdown passes, passing efficiency and completion percentage for the school. In his 2011 season, Luck amassed 3,323 yards of total offense, throwing for 35 touchdown passes and rushing for another two.
Touted as the best quarterback prospect since John Elway, Luck widely expected to be the number one overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft on April 28, meaning he would be headed to the Indianapolis Colts, who, missing Peyton Manning, went 2-14, good for worst in the league, giving them the first pick.
Manning is owed $28 million on March 8th, leading many to believe that Colts could part ways with Manning and move forward with Luck. Peter King, from Sports Illustrated, however, thinks differently, saying It means to me that Jimmy Irsay is going to give Peyton Manning his $28 million bonus unless one of two things happen: Manning absolutely can't play football or Manning wants out, King said. So I think Irsay has essentially put the onus on himself to make that huge decision.
Manning, who has worked with Luck at the Manning Passing Academy, isn't worried about being potentially replaced by Luck, telling ESPN I think I can co-exist with any player I've ever played with. I think I've always been a good teammate in that way.
Similarly, Luck told ESPN that he isn't worried about spending some time as Manning's backup. If that's the situation, I'm sure it'd be great. If that's how it is, such is life. If that is indeed what happens then I'll do the best I can, he said.