Hogan's injury and other news from Tuesday

Kevin Hogan suffered a knee injury against Notre Dame. He is probable to Start Friday night against Washington State.

The breaking news from Stanford’s weekly Tuesday afternoon media conference is that quarterback Kevin Hogan is injured. The senior hurt his leg against Notre Dame, although he played through the injury. Head Coach David Shaw said he was fairly sure the injury did not affect Hogan’s play at all.

Officially, Hogan would be listed as probable for the Friday night showdown against Washington State.  Shaw said that Hogan was held out of practice on Monday. On Tuesday night Hogan had limited participation in practice. The goal is to have him full go by Wednesday practice and then 100% for the game on Friday.

Should there be any unforeseen issues that arise, Evan Crower has been taking the first team reps in Hogan’s absence. “Evan Crower could start for a lot of teams,” Shaw praised his backup quarterback. “He knows where he is. He knows his role. Yesterday’s practice was seamless. He completes balls, he checks calls at the line of scrimmage. He knows what to do. He is a 4th year senior in the same system for four years. If it came to it, we have confidence in Evan that he would go out and play.”

While many who watched the Notre Dame game on TV saw Hogan get up gimpy after an awkward slide in which he may have been kicked in the knee, Shaw said that was not the play that Hogan got hurt. Of course Shaw would not elaborate beyond that.

 RESILIENCY

While many in the Stanford fan base still mourn what could have been in South Bend, Shaw said not the players. It was a long flight home but by the time the team returned to California, the team was ready for the next challenge.

“Many of us forget what it’s like to be 19, 20 years old. ‘Whats next? Whos next?’ Let’s go play,” Shaw said of his team. “They would have loved to play today. Some of them are happy we are in a short week. First of all because we have to augment practice and cut practice down, and second of all, great, we don’t have to wait seven days we just have to wait six. They don’t wallow. These guys have school. They have other things going on. They get to go back out and practice and get it out of their system and move on to the next one.”

Shaw said it is the adults who need to be reminded from time to time about how this game of football works and that the loss to Notre Dame is not the end of the world. Two years ago, Stanford returned from South Bend in a very similar situation. It was their second loss of the season, an out of conference loss to match one conference loss. Two years ago history showed Stanford rebounded just fine.

“Everyone jumped off the band wagon last year,” Shaw said. “Everybody jumped off the band wagon two years ago. Everybody jumped off the bandwagon three years ago when we lost to Oregon at home. The players don’t jump on and off the bandwagon. They don’t live and die every week like other people do.  When it comes down to football, football players play. They can’t wait for Friday night. They are energized, they are excited, they can’t wait to get back into conference play. This conference is insane. Anybody can win this conference. Our guys are fired up and ready to go. We have to put the last one to rest, which is fine, but as far as the football team goes, we are two days into preparation for Washington State.

THE POSITIVES

There may not be moral victories in losses, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of good things that happened. Clearly the defense was tremendous for much of the day.

“It is three games in a row where a different outside linebacker has had his best game,” Shaw said. “James Vaughters a couple of games ago was outstanding. Peter Kalambayi was outstanding last week. Kevin Anderson was everywhere this game. It was awesome to watch. I thought he played well. I thought A.J. Tarpley played well. Blake Lueders played well. Henry Anderson may have had his best game. He was on fire. Jordan Richards had his best game.”

Shaw also credited starting left tackle Andrus Peat as playing his best game as a Stanford Cardinal. Overall there was a lot of good in the game for the Cardinal, but they just couldn’t get enough good to overcome the mistakes that were made.

“You take a top-10 team to the brink at their home and there are some positives that can be taken from it,” Shaw said.

THE BAD

“We played a sloppy game in sloppy conditions,” Shaw opened his media conference with. “Both quarterbacks were at or below 50%. Both guys missed throws. Both teams dropped balls. Both teams missed field goal attempts. Bottom line is they played a little bit longer and a little bit better than we did at the end.”

Of course the signature mistake was on the 4th-and-11 on which Notre Dame scored the winning touchdown. Shaw acknowledged it was a blown coverage, although he did not name names on the mistake. But Shaw made sure to point out that that one play was not the only mistake or even the game losing mistake.

“It was the last mistake of too many mistakes during the course of the game,” Shaw said. “We blew a coverage. It hasn’t happened very much at all with us in years. We had a breakdown. Whether it was communication, whatever it was, we had a breakdown. Bottom line is we got the ball back with some time and we missed Michael Rector on first down that could have ended the game there. Once again, it is never one play. That is the lasting memory, but to be honest we had two more chances with a minute to go and we didn’t take advantage of those chances on offense.”

Shaw defended the three man rush and drop eight into the secondary saying that if everyone had done their job, the play would have been a non-issue. The goal of the play was to keep the quarterback in the pocket (which they didn’t do) and then keep the ball out of the end zone.

NEXT UP

Washington State is coming off a 60-59 loss to Cal in which Conner Halliday passed for 734 yards. “I don’t think anyone has ever gone against a quarterback that has had 700 yards the previous week,” Shaw joked.

Shaw is very impressed by the opposing quarterback this week saying that Halliday is more than just a system quarterback.  “I think he’s better. I think he is getting the ball out quicker. I think he is seeing everything faster. I think he is anticipating and not waiting. I think he knew the offense last year, I think he is fully trained in the offense this year. I think they did a great job preparing him. You talk about that next step for a quarterback to where the game slows down for them. He knows where all of his guys are. That is where he is right now.”

As for playing Washington State on a short week, the Cardinal have had to make some adjustments to the typical practice week.

“We’re not losing any (practices) we’re just merging. (Monday), we merged our typical practice with a Tuesday practice. So we just didn’t get enough of either but we merged those two days into one. So (Tuesday) will be a pretty typical Wednesday practice although shortened and modified. And (Wednesday) will be a typical Thursday although shortened and modified.”

While the coaches would certainly like extra time to prepare for a wild offense like the Cougars, the players are ready to roll on Friday night.

THE CONFERENCE

Shaw, on several occasions during the media session, discussed how great the conference is as a whole and just how balanced college football is in general. Saturday was arguably one of the greatest days of college football looking at all the upsets, quality matchups, and fantastic finishes. It didn’t get past Shaw what is ahead.

“It is crazy,” Shaw said. “We have been saying it from the beginning. All of us coaches felt it. We talked about it in the spring. This conference is crazy right now. Everybody is good. It is going to be a wild finish to this season. We’re right in the thick of it with everyone else.”

Shaw continued when he answered a question that the league champion really could have three losses. “The anxiety of the (conference), not just the playoff, but looking at the teams and looking at how Arizona finished the year last year, looking at the way Cal was playing all those freshman and sophomores last year that are sophomores and juniors this year. This conference a few years ago went from three really good teams to 10 or 11. Thankfully we have a bye coming up in a few weeks, but to play all these conference games back to back to back to back….once again there is going to be somebody that plays two great games back to back and looks like a word beater and comes back and loses to a team you say they should beat. That is just where we are. I don’t think there should be anything that is considered an upset right now. Most of college football, but especially in our conference, everybody is good, nobody is dominant, everybody is really good.

A FEW ADDITIONAL NOTES

Injuries: Kodi Whitfield is expected back and expected to be a full go. Rachard Pippens is also expected back this week and should participate at least on special teams if not actually in the secondary.

Friday night will be the first home game of the season with the students in school. The team will honor the occasion by wearing the black uniforms.

True freshman Reilley Gibbons has transferred to South Florida. Shaw said that it was a family decision and he is in support of them. Gibbons is from the Miami area.



 






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