“I haven’t even tried to count how many,” Hogan said this week. “I know it’s a bunch.”
Hogan’s uncles, quarterback Coley O’Brien (1966-68) and tackle Ivan Brown (1973), both played for the Fighting Irish.
As a youngster, Hogan dreamed about playing for Notre Dame, who showed mild interest in recruiting him. The McLean, Va., native made a few visits to South Bend, but decided to look elsewhere.
“I started focusing on other schools and what might have been the best fit for me,” he said.
Fortunately for the Cardinal, Stanford emerged as the frontrunner. The junior is now 14-2 as a starter and is 8-0 against ranked teams. The eighth-ranked Cardinal (9-2) concludes its regular season against 25th-ranked Notre Dame (8-3) on Saturday at 4 p.m. (PT) at Stanford Stadium in a nationally-televised game on Fox.
In addition to Hogan, there are many other connections between Stanford and Notre Dame. Here are some:
• Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick earned his law degree from Stanford.
• Bernard Muir, the Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics at Stanford, served as Notre Dame’s deputy director of athletics from 2004-05, senior associate athletic director from 2003-04 and associate athletic director from 2000-03.
• Cardinal cornerback Alex Carter’s dad, Tom, played football at Notre Dame.
• Former Stanford head coach Tyrone Willingham (1995-2001) was head coach at Notre Dame from (2002-04).
• Former Stanford head coach Bill Walsh was an analyst for Notre Dame football telecasts on NBC.
• Stanford defensive line coach Randy Hart coached at Notre Dame in 2009.
• Stanford offensive tackle Kevin Danser’s uncle, John Gallagher, played basketball at Notre Dame and roomed with Irish quarterback Joe Theismann.
• Cardinal offensive lineman Conor McFadden had eight family members attend Notre Dame.
• Notre Dame men’s soccer coach Bobby Clark coached at Stanford from 1996-2000. He led the Cardinal to the 1998 NCAA title game.
• Stanford professor Condoleezza Rice received her master’s degree in political science from Notre Dame in 1975.
• Cardinal running back Remound Wright prepped at Notre Dame pipeline Bishop Dwenger
• The last football game played in the old Stanford Stadium was against Notre Dame in 2005.
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In last year’ game at rainy South Bend, the Fighting Irish escaped with a 20-13 victory. Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor nearly tied the game in the final seconds to force a second overtime but was ruled down short of the goal line. Although Taylor’s knee didn’t hit the ground before he stretched the ball across the goal line, the officials said the whistle had blown.
“We addressed it Monday,” Shaw said, when asked if his team had added motivation this week. “If we made the plays we should have made, it shouldn’t have come down to that last drive.”
Hogan said players have moved on.
“We can’t treat it like a revenge game,” he said. “That’s over. They have a new team and we have a new team.”
Either way, Trent Murphy expects another hard-hitting contest Saturday.
“It was the most physical game we played all year,” said Murphy. “It’s definitely going to be a physical battle.”
Health-wise, Stanford should be in good shape. Henry Anderson got nicked up against Cal last week, but will play. So will Carter, who sat out against the Bears while recovering from a concussion. Place kicker Jordan Williamson is expected to handle field goal and extra point duties, while Conrad Ukropina will kick off.
The site of the Pac-12 Championship game will be determined Saturday night, pending the outcome of the Arizona at Arizona State game in Tempe. If the Sun Devils win, they will host Stanford in the conference title game on Dec. 7, with the winner going to the Rose Bowl. If the Wildcats win, the game will be played at Stanford Stadium, with the kickoff set for 4:45 p.m.
Murphy grew up near Sun Devil Stadium and was heavily recruited by Arizona State.
“We definitely want to play at home,” he said. “I’ve always said I want to play in Sun Devil Stadium. I wouldn’t be upset.”
Don’t expect to see much of the Stanford Tree until game time. The Notre Dame press release this week was 86 pages. Stanford wasn’t far behind at 80.
Quotable: “It was kind of surreal.” Stanford wide receiver Ty Montgomery, who scored touchdowns the first five times he touched the ball last week against Cal.
Quotable: “We recruit against geography more than any school.” Shaw, when asked if Stanford goes head-to-head against Notre Dame in recruiting more than any other school.
Quotable: “Both teams want to be the smartest, toughest football teams in the country.” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly on Saturday’s matchup.