Luck answers questions on the field

DURHAM, N.C. -- The second question posed to Andrew Luck during yesterday's post-game news conference made his eyes roll, for a second.

Reporter: "Coming to North Carolina, did you think about this trip knowing that the Panthers had the No. 1 pick and that you could have been playing here this year?"

Luck: "Short answer, no. I stopped thinking about all that stuff a couple of days after I decided to come back to college."

Flanked by tight end Coby Fleener and linebackers Shayne Skov and Chase Thomas, Luck did his best to answer politely. His teammates snickered. Skov and Thomas whispered something to each other that made them laugh. No doubt, Luck took a little friendly ribbing back in the locker room.

No matter how much Luck says he's focused on college, the decision to come back for another year will be a topic of conversation all season, regardless if he wants the question. For the record, he doesn't.

But that's one of the things that coach David Shaw admires about Luck. He's focused. On Stanford.

The money will be there. The No. 1 pick in the NFL draft will be there. The Heisman is his for the taking. But in his eyes, all of that is down the road. He's focused. On Stanford.

Luck put on a very steady performance in Stanford's 44-14 win over Duke. He completed 20-of-28 passes for 290 yards and four touchdowns. He had one interception, but it was a deflection. One of those things that happen.

"I've only been around a couple of quarterbacks that see everything," said Shaw. "And he was able to tell us exactly where the safeties were. ... I thought he managed the game very well. Early on I think we had some protection issues where he had to slide and throw off his back foot."

When the protection broke down, Luck took some shots. The stat book says he was sacked twice, but one was him running out of bounds. But he took five very solid hits and was unfazed.

"Getting hit is part of football," Luck said. "That's why I work out in the off season. Not to look good. Because I don't. But to be able to handle getting hit and get back up ... it's part of football. And I love it."

He said he made mistakes. And he did. But a lot of them were intentional mistakes that show up as incomplete passes. He threw high on a couple of passes to his tall tight ends on purpose. Better to overthrow the back of the end zone than commit a red zone turnover.

The questions will keep coming. And Luck will answer them. Politely. And his eyes will roll, for a second. And his teammates will give him a hard time.

And he'll stay focused. On Stanford.