By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
Fifth-year seniors Sam Schwartzstein and Chase Thomas took two different views of Stanford football's traditional 'Last Walk' before Saturday's 27-23 victory over visiting Oregon State.
Thomas said he didn't give it too much thought. Schwartzstein was trying to keep it low key until he caught a glimpse of his mother.
"I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure it wasn't our Last Walk," said Schwartzstein, the Cardinal starting center. "Then I saw my mother crying and it got a little emotional."
Said Thomas, a starting linebacker: "I don't really think about it. There's still the possibility of another home game."
Should Stanford actually host the Pac-12 title game, scheduled for Nov. 30, the Cardinal would have it in its hands to determine its opponent from the South Division.
With a game remaining at UCLA, and a victory over the Ducks clinching its spot, Stanford could lose its game to the Bruins and guarantee UCLA plays in the championship. A win over UCLA means the Bruins also would have to beat USC to get to the title contest.
There's no way Stanford goes out of its way to lose though. The Cardinal remains adamant of wanting to play in the best bowl game possible. That means winning out, including the conference title game.
THE NAME GAME
Schwartzstein said he's seen his last name spelled in numerous ways, but not in so much variety until he was being recruited.
"During the recruiting process I got to see the exciting ways to spell my name," the Texas native said. "I had one spell it with a 'UAR.' It's really two easy Austrian names put together."
Schwartzstein was assured that Stanford got it right.
There are any numbers of names with the potential to be spelled in various ways, with linebacker James Vaughters and freshman strong safety Zach Hoffpauir seemingly the top candidates.
Hoffpauir received accolades from Stanford coach David Shaw for his play this season.
"He only knows one speed and wants to hit people," Shaw said. "He even hits our guys. If you're in the way he'll go through you to get to the ball."
Hoffpauir has been valuable on special teams and has seen his playing team in the secondary increase.
THE FACE OF A QUARTERBACK
Redshirt freshman Kevin Hogan displays two different personalities, one to the media and one to everybody else according to Stanford Daily sportswriter Miles Bennett-Smith.
Hogan made his third appearance at the weekly press conference Tuesday and smiled just a little but more than he did the past two visits.
He answered questions in a dry monotone, and usually never changed expressions. He presented a quiet, mild-mannered, respectful personality to the press.
"That's one guy who is totally different inside this room and outside this room," Bennett-Smith said. "He's not shy. He's very outgoing."
Reporters asked Hogan if he ever got excited, and that's when a thin smile appeared.
"Sure, I get excited," Hogan said. "I just don't show it like others."
Hogan was used on last year's scout team to replicate Oregon's high-tempo offense and acknowledged he grew to like it.
"They run a fun offense," he said. "It's all about quarterback reads and getting the ball out fast."
Schwartzstein said Hogan "stays even-keeled but he's an unbelievably fierce competitor."