Kevin Hogan is not Andrew Luck.
Luck is quite possibly the perfect specimen. With the arm of John Elway, the feet of Steve Young, the field vision of Tom Brady and a pedigree second only to a Manning, nobody even considered comparing Hogan to Luck. But Hogan, the 6’4″ junior from Virginia who came into the season having started only five games, doesn’t need to be Luck to be successful.
In fact, Hogan has already equaled or surpassed Luck in many regards. Though Hogan hasn’t, and likely won’t, reached any of Luck’s individual records, Hogan has done in eight starts what it took Luck an entire regular season to do: win eight games. And two of those games – the Pacific-12 Championship and the Rose Bowl – were games Luck never won.
Luck’s legacy is omnipresent at Stanford (Stanford doesn’t have an offensive coordinator; it has an Andrew Luck Director of Offense) but Hogan’s legacy is already building upon what Luck started.
For instance, in defeating Arizona State last Saturday, Hogan’s true talents shone. After rushing out to a 29-0 halftime lead and a 39-7 lead through three quarters, head coach David Shaw sat Hogan, expecting to give his offensive backups quality snaps and his starters much deserved rest. Shaw was wrong, as the 23rd-ranked Sun Devils surged back with 21 unanswered points to make the Cardinal sweat and necessitate Hogan’s return to the game. Hogan used his greatest asset, his feet, to seal the game with a 27-yard carry to put the game out of reach for Arizona State.
But Hogan was no stranger to pressure situations before Saturday’s matchup. Saturday was the fifth time Hogan had faced and defeated a ranked opponent and Hogan has already won four games by a margin of one-possession.
Plus, there is always the pressure of following in the footsteps of Luck, who Hogan actively tries to emulate. Nevertheless, if Hogan continues to win games, Stanford fans and the media alike will stop calling Hogan the next Luck and referring to him as the only Hogan.