Expect to see more of true freshman Kevin Hogan, who saw increased action for Stanford in its 21-3 victory over California in the 115th Big Game on Saturday.
Hogan, a sophomore, threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Levine Toilolo, and carried the ball twice for 13 yards. Hogan made his collegiate debut against Washington, with one play, and was in on two against Notre Dame. He played in five against Cal.
The style -- a quarterback who comes in for specific packages, including an assortment of running plays -- may sound familiar.
"It's kind of like having a Tim Tebow," fullback Ryan Hewitt said.
To which Hogan replied, "That's a pretty big compliment, I'd say."
"We're going to create packages just so he can keep getting the ball," said David Shaw, Stanford's head coach.
"It's tough for a defense, especially because we've shown that he can throw the ball and he's not just a running threat," Hewitt said. "Defenses don't really know how to key their personnel against him. It's a good changeup."
The genesis of Hogan's action came while simulating mobile quarterbacks on the scout team last year because of his running ability.
"We've known Kevin can run and throw, but we weren't going to put him out there until he was efficient in that role," Shaw said. "In the week leading up to Notre Dame, it was like, `He's getting it.' He's making good decisions."
"The one play he ran against Washington was the one play he had run consistently and ran properly. So, we gave him the chance. For guys like Hogan, their litmus test is practice. If you can do it efficiently in practice, not just once, but 4-6 times a week. We'll give him that opportunity.
"Kevin's excited about that package expanding," Shaw said.
"We come up with them every week," Hogan said. "We'll stay primarily with the ones we've been working on since spring ball. But based on the different looks, maybe something new will come up."
However, it's crucial that teams respect Hogan's arm, so that the run will be there.
"He's got a strong arm," Shaw said. "It's not a Wildcat. This is not a running back, this is a guy who can run and pass. Those are things that we can take advantage of as an offense."
Shaw wouldn't identify Josh Nunes' primary backup -- whether it's Hogan or Brett Nottingham, who has played in one game in relief of Nunes.
"Brett's ready to go if we need him," Shaw said. "I would love to get Brett in the game."
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How good was the Cardinal defense on Saturday, in holding Cal to 217 total yards, including only three on the ground?
"Instead of two guys playing great, we had nine," said Shaw on Tuesday at his weekly press conference. "It was impressive. We had a couple of guys play about their best game -- Chase Thomas was phenomenal. I don't know if I've seen him play like that for 60 minutes."
Shaw went on to list guys like Alex Carter, Henry Anderson, Trent Murphy, Shayne Skov, A.J. Tarpley,
Jarek Lancaster, James Vaughters.
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In evaluating the play of quarterback Nunes (16 of 31 passes for 214 yards and one touchdown and one interception) Shaw put some of the fault on his receivers for some of the misplays.
"Josh played good, but he can play better," Shaw said. "We're making too many mistakes in passing game on the road that may look like the quarterback's fault. But dropping passes is inexcusable and we've got to run routes at the proper depth. Even so, Josh has got to be ready for it. If a guy's not where he's supposed to be, Josh has got to be ready and take off. If you're not at the proper depth, you don't get the ball."
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Of the outstanding group of freshmen offensive linemen, Joshua Garnett "has made the biggest jump lately," Shaw said.
"At 320 pounds, he's fast and athletic. He doesn't have all of it down just yet to just go in and play. So, we can use him in spots and get him experience - we're doing the same thing with the two tackles (Andrus Peat and Kyle Murphy). They're steadily getting better and we're pushing them every week to have the urgency that you can't just coast. They've got to push it."
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When guard/tackle David Yankey went down briefly, "There was a collective silence on our headsets," Shaw said. "Except for (offensive coordinator) Pep Hamilton, who said something I can't repeat."
Shaw described Yankey's injury as "just a bruise. He'll be ready to go," when the Cardinal plays host to Washington State on Saturday in a 3:15 p.m. game at Stanford Stadium.
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Stanford still can accomplish its goal of winning the Pac-12 North title and advancing to the conference championship game, but the Cardinal must improve, Hewitt said.
"We aren't nearly as good as we can be," Hewitt said. "That alone should drive us. We haven't come close to putting together four quarters of good football. I don't think we can become complacent, but I don't think we need to even worry about that. We're still striving to be as good as we can be."