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Stanford Football: Is Kevin Hogan Headed for Breakout 2014 Season?

Kevin Hogan

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Sounds weird considering he plays for Stanford and is a fairly established quarterback, right? Well we certainly haven’t seen Kevin Hogan hit his stride yet, but that could happen in 2014.

With Tyler Gaffney headed for the NFL and no clear-cut No. 1 running back, the Cardinal could be forced to depend more on the passing game in 2014. If that’s the case, it’ll be up to Hogan to create a spark for the Stanford offense and find a way to improve on his solid numbers from a year ago.

Last season, Hogan threw for 2,635 yards, 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while serving as the Cardinal’s starting quarterback. In his first full season as a starter, he displayed a good arm, above average athleticism and plenty of poise, but is still a work in progress. His mechanics fell apart at times, and he lacked the accuracy to consistently make plays for Stanford.

In 2014, though, he’ll need to cut down on the mistakes and show a more refined skill set.

Luckily for Hogan, he returns his top receiver in Ty Montgomery, who is expected to be one of the top pass-catchers in the national this upcoming season. In 2013, Montgomery hauled in 61 passes for 958 yards and 10 touchdowns, but should see a significant stat increase considering that the Cardinal will likely have to rely more on the passing game this year. Devon Cajuste, Michael Rector and Austin Hooper should also help make airing it out easier for Hogan.

Considering that the Stanford’s stable of running backs – Kelsey Young, Ricky Seale and Barry Sanders – are all capable of catching the ball, Hogan should have no shortage of targets to throw to.

The other negative is that the Cardinal will be working with four new starters along the offensive line. While they are all outstanding talents with the potential to create one of the best front fives in the country, the lack of chemistry and experience could lead to more pressure on Hogan than he saw last season.

Despite that fact, Hogan should see significant improvement in 2014. He has a full year of starting under his belt, and has developed tremendous chemistry with his top receivers. If the offensive line can gel early and get the running game going like we’ve seen from Stanford in years passed, Hogan should have every opportunity to emerge as one of the top gunslingers in the nation.

I think Heisman Trophy consideration is a bit immature, but Hogan definitely has the potential to emerge as a star for Stanford in 2014.

Gil Alcaraz IV is the Director of Content for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.