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Stanford names former top-50 recruit Tanner McKee starting QB for USC game

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USATSI

It didn’t take long for Stanford to make a quarterback change following a 24-7 blowout loss to Kansas State in Week 1. Coach David Shaw announced on Tuesday that sophomore quarterback Tanner McKee will start against USC on Saturday. McKee replaces Jack West, who threw two interceptions in the loss to the Wildcats at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. McKee, meanwhile, completed 15-of-18 passes for 118 yards and the Cardinal’s lone touchdown coming off the bench. 

Previously, McKee played his first collegiate game in 2020 against Oregon, completing 3-of-7 passes for 62 yards in a 35-14 loss. 

Stanford announces McKee as the full-time starter in a critical moment for the program. Shaw’s team is just 8-11 since 2019, a shocking mark for a program that won at least nine games in all but one season from 2010 to 2018 between Shaw and former coach Jim Harbaugh. 

McKee was a top-50 national prospect out of Centennial (CA) in the class of 2018. 247Sports Composite ranked him as the No. 3 pro-style signal-caller and the No. 7 prospect out of California in the class. However, he spent his first two years out of high school doing an LDS mission in Brazil before enrolling at Stanford in 2020. He earned 2018 Army All-America honors and was an Elite 11 finalist. 

Stanford ranked No. 17 nationally in passing efficiency in 2018, but has not broken the top 50 over the last three seasons. The offense mustered just 233 total yards against Kansas State, which finished the 2020 season 4-6. 

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