But… Stanford coach David Shaw has not made an official announcement on a QB change, saying only that "You'll see a lot of Kevin Hogan," against Oregon State.
Hogan came in towards the end of first quarter and proceeded to light up Colorado. Granted, the Buffs' defense has surrendered more points than anyone else in the FBS but the bottom line is that Hogan has been outplaying Nunes.
Shaw might still start Nunes and then put Hogan in on the second series, as some coaches do when they're trying to keep all parties engaged and happy, but it seems likely Hogan is now "the guy."
Mike Riley, meanwhile, said after the ASU win that Cody Vaz will remain the team's starter – for now. Translation: That Vaz is the guy but if he isn't getting it done on Saturday, Sean Mannion could come in off the bench?
With arguably the two best defenses in the Pac-12 involved, it's not out of the realm of possibility that this game could see all four potential quarterback "starters" take the field at some point on Saturday.
STANFORD HAS BEEN more run-oriented this season but the QB change could change that against Oregon State. If so, Stanford may try to afflict most of its damage via a pair of senior tight ends -- Levine Toilolo (6-8, 265) and Zach Ertz (6-6, 250).
OSU had has had sneaky success via their tight ends, Connor Hamlett and Colby Prince -- though Saturday's game featured a number of drops by Hamlett. The guess here is that will be corrected this week in practice, But even so, Oregon State is going to live and die in the passing game with their wide receivers.
Hogan is also likely to see a far better defense than he saw against Colorado. Arizona State QB Taylor Kelly entered Saturday's game as the top-rated passer in the conference. He managed only 153 passing yards against the Beavs.
HAS OREGON STATE found their running game? With Storm Woods (leg/knee) out last week, and potentially sidelined or limited again this week, Terron Ward stepped in and rushed for 146 yards – a season high for the Beavs.
Cornerback Jordan Poyer (knee) looks more apt to be ready in time for Stanford. But even if he can't go or is limited, Sean Martin did solid work in his first start for Poyer this past week, and Stanford is not expected to go bombs away to their receivers.
Stanford is favored by 5.5 points by Las Vegas. A big part of that is home field advantage and the emergence of Hogan.
Consider what Lindy's said about Hogan after Stanford's win over Colorado: "He can effectively run the option. He can roll out to either side and throw effectively, or he can pass from the pocket. He can run on planned runs or a scramble. He can toss touch passes or he can fire lasers. Nunes, by contrast, was a basic pocket passer with considerably less mobility. Hogan has yet to show he can throw the deep ball accurately, but he has the arm strength to do it."
Just one more weekly challenge for the Oregon State D as they try to keep hold of their own Pac-12 destiny.
NOTEBOOK: QB derby when Beavs face Cardinal?
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