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George Nikitin, Associated Press
Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes runs with the ball past Arizona's Jake Fischer during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.

STANFORD, Calif. — No quarterback in the country has had to manage expectations the way Josh Nunes has had to this season succeeding the NFL's No. 1 overall pick.

In the last three weeks alone, the redshirt junior quarterback outplayed Heisman Trophy hopeful Matt Barkley to upset Southern California, shouldered the blame of a stunning loss at Washington and rallied No. 17 Stanford (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12) from a two-touchdown deficit for a thrilling 54-48 overtime win against Arizona.

Nobody said filling Andrew Luck's shoes would be a smooth transition.

Fair or not, Stanford's streakiness this season has been tied directly to its new quarterback, and both are still somewhat of an unknown heading to seventh-ranked Notre Dame (5-0) on Saturday.