PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Sorry Stanford fans, Andrew Luck will not be catching anymore balls this season. Or so head coach David Shaw would have us believe.
"We won't come back to it again this year," Shaw said.
He's, of course, referring to Luck's one-handed sideline grab in the first quarter of Saturday night's 45-19 win against UCLA. Luck pitched the ball to Tyler Gaffney, who flipped it to wide receiver Drew Terrell on the reverse. But Terrell stopped and tossed to Luck, who stretched and brought the ball down with his right hand, and was able to drag his left foot to keep it inbounds.
"There are about five positions the guy can play," Shaw said. "Receiver, tight end, outside linebacker. We kind of like what he does at quarterback. We put him in a position to make plays and he never disappoints."
Few 13-yard receptions are met with such fanfare.
Not to be outdone, Coby Fleener (four catches, 78 yards, two touchdowns) came back later in the drive with his own one-handed grab. Luck fired a missile at Fleener in the end zone, and the tight end smoothly snapped it out of the air for an 18-yard touchdown.
"I knew Andrew was trying to make me look bad with his one-handed catch so I felt like I had to one-up him," Fleener joked after the game. "The line gave Andrew enough time to get the ball off and Andrew put it in a spot where only I could get it. And it kind of worked out well."
Shaw, however, sided with his quarterback in the battle of one-handed catches.
"I thought (Fleener's) was a close second to Andrew," Shaw said. "But it was a heck of a catch as well."
Said Luck: "Drew made a hell of a throw under pressure. It's tough for guys to come into a football game when you've never thrown. I just tried to put my hands up and catch the ball and hope I had a foot in bounds."
It was a play that they had worked on in practice. And while it only went for 13 yards, it was yet another amazing highlight for Luck to add to his reel.
"We thought it had a chance to be a good play," Shaw said. "I would have loved for him to stay in bounds and see if he could score. It was a heck of a catch."