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Stanford Cardinals quarterback Tanner McKee draws start against No. 14 USC Trojans

Sep 4, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Stanford Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee (18) throws a pass in the second quarter against the Kansas State Wildcats at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Stanford Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee (18) throws a pass in the second quarter against the Kansas State Wildcats at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford sophomore Tanner McKee will start at quarterback this Saturday against No. 14 Southern California, Cardinal coach David Shaw said Tuesday.

Jack West started the season-opening 24-7 loss to Kansas State with the plan also calling on McKee to see action. McKee completed 15 of 18 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown, while West was 8 of 12 for 76 yards and two interceptions.

“We will start Tanner McKee this week,” Shaw said during a press conference. “We will not rotate the quarterbacks.”

The 6-foot-6 McKee was a coveted recruit in the class of 2018 who went on a two-year Mormon mission in Brazil. He saw action against Oregon last season and was 3-of-7 passing for 62 yards.

“He has a lot of the traits that you’re looking for. That’s the reason he was so highly rated coming out of high school,” Shaw said. “He has a quick release, very accurate, very competitive, great leader, for a tall guy he’s pretty athletic and he can move. And he’s got a strong arm. He doesn’t need a lot of space to step into it and get the ball downfield.

“I told Tanner I just want him to play. He doesn’t have to take the world on his shoulders. He doesn’t have to do anything other than play quarterback. … Being able to run the ball I think will be able to take some pressure off him in his first start.”

West attempted just 56 passes in his first three seasons at Stanford. He hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in his career.

–Field Level Media