For all the talk of a quarterback controversy after Stanford head coach David Shaw said this week that incumbent starter Josh Nunes would share more time with backup Kevin Hogan, Saturday’s 48-0 rout of Colorado might have ended the debate.
After Nunes started the game with two stalled drives, Hogan came in and led the Cardinal (7-2, 5-1 Pac-12) on four six straight scoring drives to dominate a weak Buffaloes team (1-8, 1-5) on the road.
Stanford’s defense was smothering all afternoon long. Junior safety Ed Reynolds opened the day’s scoring on an interception return for the second consecutive week and the Cardinal finished with five sacks and held Colorado to -21 rushing yards.
But the story of the day was the play under center. While the Buffaloes defense could not be described as stout, the redshirt freshman Hogan looked accurate and composed under pressure in the first extended action of his career. He finished the day 18-23 for 184 with two touchdowns.
“The door was open for [Hogan] and he walked through,” Shaw said after the game.
The play calling focused heavily on a mix of different looks out of the backfield—starting running back Stepfan Taylor took just 10 carries and ran for 43 yards. Four players had at least 35 yards, led by Hogan’s 48 on six attempts.
With a huge game next week at home against Oregon State looming, Hogan likely has taken control of the starting spot and his rapport with tight ends Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo—the pair combined for nine catches, 100 yards and both touchdowns—is a promising sign for Stanford’s offense going forward.