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 STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh hoped to be able to announce who his starting quarterback would be for the season opener by this point of training camp.
After the Cardinal's first scrimmage of the summer on Tuesday, Harbaugh was only ready to reveal a temporary depth chart that has Tavita Pritchard ahead of Alex Loukas and Jason Forcier.
Whether that will be the same pecking order when the season opens Aug. 28 against Oregon State depends on how the three practice in the upcoming days.
``We're not talking about a huge difference,'' Harbaugh said after the closed scrimmage Tuesday. ``We have three guys we believe we can win with. I know it's a luxury in college football these days. I feel very good about it. We're just training them all like they're going to be the starter.''
But Harbaugh did say the time had come to narrow down the competition so Pritchard will get the most practice time with the starters, followed by Loukas and then Forcier.
Up until now, the three have basically gotten equal practice time as Harbaugh let the competition play out.
``There was some struggling going on early. I think they were pressing,'' Harbaugh said. ``But since practice six, they've really made great strides, all in different ways.''
Pritchard was the only one of the quarterbacks who entered camp with any significant collegiate experience. He started seven games a year ago, including the memorable 24-23 upset at No. 2 Southern California.
Pritchard engineered a late drive for the winning score, connecting on a 10-yard pass on fourth down to Mark Bradford with 49 seconds left.
Pritchard had less success after that, winning only one more game in his final six starts. He completed 50 percent of his passes last season for 1,114 yards, five touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Pritchard said he believes the competition has raised the level of all three of the quarterbacks.
``It's not a case where we're not playing well and that's why the decision has been hard,'' he said. ``Really all three of us have come out and competed hard and made plays. I think that's made the decision tough. I think a lot of teams in the Pac-10 would like a quarterback situation like we have.''
Loukas has yet to appear in a game in his first two years at Stanford. But he impressed the coaching staff in practice last fall and had a strong spring performance to get into the mix for the starting job.
Forcier sat out last year after transferring to Stanford from Michigan, winning an award as one of the top scout team players for the Cardinal.
Forcier was a heralded recruit coming out of high school and redshirted his first year at Michigan. He played sparingly as Chad Henne's backup in 2006, completing all three passes he threw. But he decided to transfer because he didn't feel his athletic style fit Michigan's system under former coach Lloyd Carr.

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