Saturday night's Pac-12 football opener between sixth-ranked Stanford (2-0) and host Arizona (1-1) has all the makings of a quarterback shootout between Andrew Luck and Nick Foles.
"In all my years evaluating quarterbacks, the best ones make quick decisions, have a quick release and throw the ball with accuracy," Stanford football coach David Shaw said. "(Foles) does all those, and he does all those repeatedly and has for years.
Luck and Foles became friends at the Peyton Manning camp and the friendship continued at conference media days. Luck got the better of him in a throwing accuracy contest at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., last year.
"Nick is a great guy," Luck said. "I found out later that we lived 20 minutes apart for a couple of years in Austin."
Shaw also said Luck has made improvements in his game since being named the Heisman Trophy runner-up.
"He's just more vocal with everything," Shaw said. "He has really taken this offense on his shoulders. He's really mastering not just his job, but everybody else's job."
Luck said he reviews the playbook once in awhile to make sure he's directing a certain play correctly.
"I feel I'm understanding our game plan more, why it's built to attack this defense, and why it changes for this opponent," he said. "Instead of going into the huddle and calling a play and thinking, What am I doing here? It's much more fluid now. I know what I'm doing now and know how the defense will adjust to this play."
Game time is 7:45 p.m.
Stanford freshman Kelsey Harbin was named NorPac West Division Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday.
Harbin had an assist and a defensive save for the 16th-ranked Cardinal in its win over Northeastern over the weekend.
Stanford travels to Pacific for its NorPac Conference opener on Saturday at 1 p.m.