Entries in Kevin Hogan (2)


Newsday (N.Y.): Kevin Hogan rallies Stanford to winning field goal in final 30 seconds

By Art Spander
Special to Newsday

STANFORD, Calif. — Thirty seconds was all that stood between Notre Dame and a chance for the postseason playoff. The Irish had scored the go-ahead touchdown with only a half-minute left to play, and with seemingly half the crowd at sold-out Stanford Stadium cheering for the Irish, the game seemed to be theirs.

But the Cardinal, behind senior quarterback Kevin Hogan and with the aid of a key facemask penalty, used that half-minute to drive from its own 27 to the Irish 8-yard line, and Conrad Ukropina kicked a 45-yard field goal as time expired to give Stanford a 38-36 victory Saturday night.

Read the full story here.

Copyright © 2015 Newsday. All rights reserved.



Pac-12 still belongs to Stanford

By Art Spander

STANFORD, Calif. — Nothing has changed. The Pac-12 still belongs to Stanford. They lost a week ago, certainly, but nobody wins them all in college football, other than Alabama.

And if Alabama played the schedule of Stanford or USC or most notably UCLA, which was outmuscled Saturday by the Cardinal, the Tide would lose one or two every year.

Stanford was defeated on the road, at Utah, and the dream of the unbeaten season, which these days is almost impossible in the Pac-12, collapsed.

So Stanford did what teams from successful programs virtually always do after a loss. It won.

More than that, in whipping previously undefeated UCLA, 24-10, on a glorious autumn afternoon at Stanford Stadium, the Cardinal dominated. It offered the mental and physical supremacy of a program that embellishes the school’s academic standing.

Stanford used its bevy of 300-pound offensive linemen to wear down UCLA. Stanford utilized its aggressive defenders to befuddle UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, who when he wasn’t being sacked (four times) was being intercepted (twice). Yes, an exaggeration, but not by much.

“This is really a difficult loss for this football team,” said Bruins coach Jim Mora. As if any loss is easy. UCLA now is 5-1, 2-1 in conference, while Stanford is 5-1, 2-1.

“Stanford,” conceded Mora, “showed us the toughest defense we have seen all year.”

A defense that held UCLA to 266 yards total (Stanford had 419). A defense that Stanford coach David Shaw said was determined to make the mobile Hundley stay in the pocket. A defense that limited UCLA to 74 net yards rushing.

The Stanford offense was effective, efficient. It couldn’t get the ball across the goal line in the first half, which ended in a 3-3 tie, but it got a message across to UCLA: We’re going to pound away, and in the second and third quarters you’ll be unable to respond.

Often too much is made of possession time, but not this game. Stanford had the ball 37 minutes 11 seconds, UCLA 22:49. That’s almost an entire quarter differential.

“We were in the game until the last turnover,” said Mora, alluding to Hundley’s interception with around 2:45 to play, after which Stanford drove its way 32 yards for the ultimate touchdown. Psychologically, perhaps, but not in actuality.

A school once known for finesse football, Stanford obviously changed the pattern, athletes and culture. And the results.

“We recruit tough-minded people, people that bounce back,” insisted Shaw, the third-year head coach who played at Stanford.

Somebody then referred to “body blows,” the running game inflicted on a less-sizable UCLA.

“That’s been our staple for a long time,” Shaw reminded.

Along with having an excellent quarterback.

A huge mural on the stadium tunnel wall artistically calls attention to “Quarterback U.” You think of Frankie Albert, John Brodie, Jim Plunkett, John Elway, of course. But Kevin Hogan, the man who took over last year and is handling the situation, along with the ball, deserves mention.

“I thought it was really solid,” Shaw said of Hogan’s performance, 18 of 25 passing for 227 yards and no sacks, plus 5 runs for 33 yards.

“We did a nice little no-huddle, which he orchestrated outstanding. Kevin knows if the middle opens up, he’s got the ball and takes off and runs . . .  We wanted to run the ball on third down. It was our game plan.”

Not in the plan, but gratefully accepted, was a leaping one-handed catch in the end zone of a Hogan pass by Kodi Whitfield, whose father Bob was both an outstanding offensive lineman at Stanford and a first-round pick in the 1982 NFL draft.

When asked about the catch, Shaw joked, “I would say genetics, but Bob is 6-foot-7, 335 pounds, so I don’t think it came from dad. It was just a phenomenal play. God bless Kodi.”

UCLA fans had been saying the same about Hundley, the sophomore quarterback, but Stanford had him flummoxed.

“Just trying gap integrity,” said Shaw, meaning defenders did not slough off assigned areas. “He still broke containment twice. He stepped out of two sacks, but he’s big, physically strong.”

Said Hundley, “Stanford did a really good job of bringing pressure. Not even blitzing but just using their front four defensive, Stanford’s a great defense. I give them credit . . .  Games like this you want to win so bad. That’s really all I can say.”

UCLA next plays Oregon, which, ranked second in the nation, has been able to beat every team in the conference of late — except Stanford.

“I’m not into statement games,” Mora insisted. “I don’t think any one game defines you.”

Maybe not, but this one proved Stanford still is the class of the Pac-12.