Tuesday Tape Room: Hitting #rewind on Hogan

Tuesday Tape Room is Pac-12 Networks football analyst (and former USC assistant coach) Yogi Roth’s chance to break down tape in search of details worth focusing on — similar to what’s happening in team meetings throughout the conference today.

There were many plays that stood out during the second annual Pac-12 Football Championship Game, as both Stanford and UCLA were in relentless pursuit of a competitive edge. While breaking down the film of their matchup I often found myself leaning toward the screen to watch each team play with discipline, focus and desire.

Yet what stood out the most in the final Tuesday Tape Room of 2012 was not a touchdown, a long run by UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin or a dime by Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan. It was a simple checkdown.

In the first quarter, UCLA came out of the locker room on a mission and threw the first haymaker: Franklin's 51-yard touchdown run.

Stanford, behind redshirt freshman signal caller Kevin Hogan, did not panic. The Cardinal did what they've done all season with Hogan under center - they took what the defense gave them.

In this play Stanford lines up in a tight formation and their three tight ends run deep combination routes, forcing the UCLA linebackers and safeties to drop deep into coverage. One of the hardest things for a young QB to do is to turn his back to the defense on play-action passes. Not only does Hogan do so, but after the fake he gets his eyes up immediately, recognizes the coverage and then allows his eyes to follow his feet all the way to his left, where his checkdown was.

Of course Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor’s run is highlight worthy, but it's Hogan’s footwork and poise that forced me to hit #rewind time and again on this play and say, "There’s no way that was a redshirt freshman!"

As the Cardinal prepare for the Rose Bowl vs. Wisconsin, look for Hogan to continue to develop. Cardinal coach David Shaw has 15 practices over the next three weeks to take Hogan’s game to new levels in 2013 and beyond.

Follow former USC assistant coach and New York Times best-selling author @YogiRoth for insight on @pac12 football.