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November 6, 2012

The new starter

Kevin Hogan is Stanford's new starting quarterback.

Coach David Shaw called the redshirt freshman on Monday to inform him the decision was official.

"(Shaw said to) keep doing what you're doing and not try to do too much," said the softspoken Hogan.

After Hogan was 18 of 23 for 184 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-0 win against Colorado on Saturday, Shaw insinuated he would start, but expanded more on Tuesday.

"Athletically he gives us something special there," Shaw said. "Most importantly he showed he could handle the running game because [Stepfan Taylor's] runs require the quarterback getting us to the right play."

Josh Nunes started against Colorado, but after the Cardinal was forced to punt on its first two possessions, Hogan entered. The original plan to have him play somewhere between 12 and 20 plays, but Hogan led the team to a touchdown on his first drive. Then again, and again, and again.

Stanford scored touchdowns on five of the six possessions Hogan directed and settled for a field goal on the other.

It was clear by the time Brett Nottingham entered that the starting quarterback job was Hogan's to lose.

As good as he looked, Hogan's performance did come against Colorado, which is ranked last among the 120 FBS football programs in pass efficiency defense and scoring defense. If there is a program in the country a quarterback should excel against, it's Colorado.

"It didn't matter. It didn't matter," Shaw said. "No matter who this game was, Kevin had shown us he was ready to play a more significant amount and that we needed that extra bit of efficiency that we weren't getting. We needed that mobility at the quarterback position."

In all likelihood, losing the starting job could be tough for Nunes, but he's put away any personal disappointment he may have.

"He's been nothing but the most supportive teammate he could be," Hogan said. "One of the great things about this team is that we're really close together outside of football as well. He's been a great friend and a great teammate and really supportive, asking me how he can help. Really been great."

When Shaw named Nunes the starter a few weeks into fall camp, it had perhaps more to do with his mental makeup than his physical skill set.

Nunes' knowledge of the offense was what set him apart, but, in the end, it wasn't enough.

"He was the only quarterback that we had at he time that could handle our game plan and execute the game plan and I thought played - forget about the stats - extremely well the first three games of the year in particular," Shaw said. "The USC game, we couldn't have the game without him. Did not play great the next game against Washington. Was conference player of the year the week after that and was not as efficient the next couple of games."


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