Hogan is Stanford hero in 48-0 victory

Lindsey R. McKissick, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BOULDER, Colo. -- Instead of a happy homecoming for Colorado, Saturday proved to be try-out your young quarterback day. But, for the Buffaloes, it took a little longer to catch on.
No. 14 Stanford routed Colorado, 48-0, even though redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan of the Cardinal had to take over in the final seconds of the first quarter after a dismal start by senior quarterback Josh Nunes.
"We knew we were going to give Josh (Nunes) the first two series and then give Kevin (Hogan) the next series and see where it went from there," Stanford coach David Shaw said.
"Kevin took the ball and ran with it and did a heck of a job. I can't find many negatives for what he did today. Next week you may see more than one quarterback, but you'll see a whole lot of Kevin Hogan."
Nunes managed only 23 yards and one first down in the Cardinal's first two series against the Pac-12's worst defense.
Hogan didn't waste the chance, as he led the Cardinal (7-2, 5-1 in the Pac-12) to points in all but one of his seven possessions, five touchdowns and a field goal.
Almost everything about Hogan's day was a career best -- longest pass, longest run, most touchdowns. He completed 18-of-23 passes for 184 yards and no interceptions.
Besides the basics, it was Hogan's ability to keep drives alive on third down with his feet and patience in finding receivers that led to Stanford points.
Hogan was 7-of-11 on third down conversions, including a 20-yard run and a 32-yard pass to Levine Toilolo, both on third-and-nine in a second quarter scoring drive that ended on his a one-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ertz.
"Just to get my legs warm, that run (the 20-yard keeper) felt good and also getting hit for the first time and popping back up," Hogan said. "It brings me back to that point that this is just football."
Colorado (1-8, 1-5) fell behind, 35-0, by halftime, as the Buffaloes stuck with struggling junior quarterback Jordan Webb.
Out of the locker room, coach Jon Embree pulled Webb in favor sophomore quarterback Nick Hirschman, after the Buffaloes managed only 20 offensive yards on 26 first half plays.
Hirschman lasted less than a quarter and his 12 yards passing in the third quarter were eclipsed by sophomore transfer Connor Wood's 14-yard pass to tight end Nick Kasa in the final minute of the quarter.
The Buffaloes, who have been outscored by opponents, 416-145, couldn't find consistency in any part of their game and managed only 68 total offensive yards.
"It was the perfect storm," Colorado coach Jon Embree said. "When we had people open, we had protection issues, and when we did have protection, we couldn't get people open.
"You know there is a reason why they are the No. 2 defense in the country against the run."
Added Wood: "You really can't put a finger on one player, one position. It seemed like when 10 guys were doing the right thing, one guy wasn't.
"That is what I saw as the theme today so we need to get better executing."
Colorado lacked any leadership at quarterback, saw missed opportunities and assignments on defense, and endured miscues on special teams that meant shorts fields and easy points for Stanford.
Stanford heads to Oregon State next week, as Colorado goes to Arizona.
NOTES: Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor finished the game 53 yards short of his third consecutive 1,000-yard season, and when he gets there, he will become the first Cardinal to do it three times. ... Colorado senior linebacker Jon Major dressed but did not play after he hyper-extended an elbow at practice, resulting in torn ligaments. Major has an average of 5.9 tackles per game and an interception this season. ... Stanford free safety Ed Reynolds' 52-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter was the senior's fifth pick of the year and the third returned for a touchdown. ... Stanford's No. 2- ranked rushing defense, behind Alabama, held Colorado to minis-21 yards rushing.

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