No. 15 Stanford trying to regroup from loss to USC 

Kevin Hogan is sore after most games, so the aches the Stanford football team’s quarterback woke up with Sunday following a frustrating 13-10 home loss to Southern Cal were no different than usual. Getting out of bed, though, was just a little more difficult.

“I think the physical pain hurt because of the loss,” Hogan said Tuesday.

If there’s anything Hogan and his teammates can take from the setback, it’s that Stanford has felt this way before and bounced back even better. The Cardinal have overcome losses the past two years to win the Pac-12 Conference title, and they’ll have to do it again this season if they want to complete a conference three-peat.

“We obviously would have loved to not lose a game this season, but it happens,” Hogan said. “I have no doubt that if we do continue and play up to our potential then we’ll be where we want — in the Pac-12 championship game and have an opportunity to get into the [national] playoff.”

No. 15 Stanford (1-1) will start the task of correcting its uncharacteristic penalties, miscues and red-zone blunders when it hosts Army (1-0) on Saturday.

The Cardinal have not lost consecutive games since 2009. Stanford also absorbed losses to Utah and USC last season and to Washington in September 2012 before running through the rest of the league, including Oregon, to claim the Pac-12 crown and win the conference championship game.

“Resilience is a sign of any good football team,” Cardinal coach David Shaw said. “It’s hard to go undefeated. It’s hard to win every single game. Few teams have ever done it. The good ones are the ones who come back and still fight for everything they can the rest of the year, and we’re in that mode right now.”

Fixing the problems that popped up in the loss to USC is a bit of uncharted territory for Shaw’s team.

Stanford has been one of the country’s least penalized and most efficient teams in the red zone the past five years, which is what makes what happened against the Trojans mind-boggling.

Stanford outgained USC 413 to 291 yards but committed two turnovers, eight penalties for 68 yards and Jordan Williamson missed two of three field goals. The Cardinal had eight drives inside USC’s 30-yard line, four inside the 20-yard line and three inside the 10-yard line but scored just 10 points.

Shaw has shouldered the blame for the red zone deficiencies. He said he has to do a better job of putting his players in the right position, but they also have to do a better job of adjusting to defenses.

Shaw said the mistakes are correctable and he will not change the team’s red zone offense because it has been remarkably efficient with Hogan and Andrew Luck at quarterback. Instead, he said he will adjust some of the play calls, and he expects his players to complete them like they do in practice.

“I trust the red zone plan that we’ve developed here. I trust the guys that we have doing it. We just have to do it better,” Shaw said.

The coach took time to praise several of his players’ performances, noting that despite so many mistakes Stanford could’ve — and probably should’ve — still won the game. Players said the room for improvement also gives them confidence they can remain in contention for another conference championship.

“We had our ups and downs. We had our peaks and valleys,” right tackle Joshua Garnett said. “We really want to get rid of those valleys and stick with peaks.”

NOTES: Shaw said he has no problem with USC athletic director Pat Haden remaining on the College Football Playoff committee. Haden was reprimanded and fined $25,000 by the Pac-12 for coming down to the field and holding an animated discussion with game officials at Stanford Stadium. “I have nothing against Pat Haden. Football’s a passionate sport. It’s not just for the coaches, it’s for everybody,” Shaw said. “Pat has apologized. Pat’s been sanctioned by the Pac-12. He’s embarrassed, to a certain degree. So I’ll leave it at that.” ... Shaw said punting instead of trying two long field goals was not because he lacked confidence in Williamson but because it was difficult kicking into the wind on that side of the field. He said he still has trust in the senior kicker, who is Stanford’s career scoring leader.

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