After the Washington loss, back when concerns over Josh Nunes and the Stanford offense were first starting to crescendo, I used this space to make a few suggestions to Coach Shaw. My first request was to unleash Kelsey Young, something I'm still waiting to see, but check out #2:
2. Run the Sequoia (wildcat), but use Kevin Hogan.
I loved when you rolled this out last week. Hogan is a mobile quarterback with speed, but he's still a quarterback, which means he can throw the ball. The wildcat we saw early in the season was terribly one-dimensional -- Anthony Wilkerson up the middle. There was a numbers advantage, and the play typically gained five or six yards (which is never a bad thing) but there's no guessing for the defense. With Hogan back there, everything changes. And here's the hidden bonus, Coach. If you commit to giving Hogan four wildcat plays in each half, you'll also get a look at how the offense performs with a different quarterback. I know you've made it clear that the quarterback competition ended in August and you aren't interested in discussing it, but somewhere in the back of your mind you must be wondering, even just a little bit.
The word out of Palo Alto this week is that this is exactly what's happening. Hogan has played a handful of downs in each of the past two games, but on Tuesday Shaw promised 12 to 20 plays for the Hogan Package. (More good news: that means more Kelsey Young as well.) When I suggested this back on October 6th, I noted that this could also be a way to gradually make a quarterback change without ripping the bandaid off all at once. It seems Shaw was paying attention. When asked if Hogan might eventually become the starter, he answered in the affirmative: "Anything is possible, which is always the thing when you're going to give a guy more time at any position."
And suddenly this Saturday's game against Colorado is a LOT more interesting.
[Photo Credit: Kelley L. Cox/US Presswire]