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Open Practice Report: Big Plays, Big Defense on Display for Cardinal
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 04/06/2013

April 6, 2013

STANFORD, Calif. – Big plays on both sides of the ball provided the backdrop in the third open practice scrimmage for Stanford football during its 2013 spring practice at the Elliott Football Practice Fields. 

The theme leading into the second spring session focused on quarterback Kevin Hogan and his focus on delivering the long ball. That was clearly on display Saturday as he delivered a pair of big-play strikes against an otherwise dominant defense that many have regarded as the nation’s best.

Hogan complete 51 yard bombs to wide receivers Ty Montgomery and Michael Rector, both on double-go routes against blitzing defenses and both in long-yardage situations. Later in the practice, Hogan used his patience and scrambling ability for a 14 yard gain on third-and-long. He finished the day with 130 yards passing on just five completions and earned praise from the media in attendance as well as head coach David Shaw.

“I thought Kevin Hogan was phenomenal,” said Shaw, the Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football. “We’ve been working on our deep passes and he hit them. Ty (Montgomery) ran one down, which was great. Michael Rector ran one down and our guys did a good job of taking advantages of those things.”  

Stanford’s Evan Crower also had a good practice, completing 12 of 15 passes for 85 yards including touchdown passes to Kodi Whitfield (eight yards) and Rector (20 yards).

Barry Sanders provided a 30-yard run on a draw play but, with the exception of those five plays, defense carried the play with numerous individuals showcasing their ability.

Lineman Ben Gardner personally ended the first series for the first teamers with a tackle for a loss and a breakup before starting the second offensive series with a nine-yard sack. Alex Carter delivered the defense’s biggest hit of the day, flattening running back Tyler Gaffney to save a big run after the senior had already juked one defense and threatened to go for more after a six-yard run. Gaffney popped right up, of course, and Shaw made note of it when asked how Stanford’s professional baseball player-turned returning running back looked in his first scrimmage situation.   

“He looks the same (just) a couple of practices in,” said Shaw. “He’s got great movement… he’s just bigger.”

The biggest hit of the day might well have been delivered by the offense however as fullback Patrick Skov made the sideline jump after plowing a defender on a sweep run to provide Ricky Seale with a seven-yard gain.

Back on defense, James Vaughters had two more tackles for a loss and Blake Lueders also got into the backfield.

Jordan Williamson was 2-of-3 in live field goal conditions while going 7-for-8 from 41 yards away during a repetition period. His only miss came on a great individual effort from Josh Mauro, who broke through the line to deflect the kick. For the punters, Ben Rhyne and Conrad Ukropina each took six reps with Jordan averaging 41.7 yards per kick and Ukropina averaging 44.2 yards with a pair of 50 yarders including a long of 56.

During short yardage and goal line situations, the offense converted four of its six opportunities thanks to a pair of runs by Ryan Hewitt, an encroachment call on the defense and a recovered fumble from Conor McFadden.   

The Cardinal & White Spring Game returns to Stanford Stadium on Saturday, April 13.  Pregame activities for the whole family start at 2:30pm, kickoff is at 3pm.  For more information: /ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30600&ATCLID=208446094

 


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