September 09, 2014

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Kevin Hogan is sore after most games, so the aches Stanford's quarterback woke up with Sunday following a frustrating 13-10 home loss to Southern California 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 as No. 15 Stanford prepared to host Army on Saturday.

If there's anything Hogan and his teammates can take from the setback, it's that Stanford (1-1) has felt this way before and bounced back even better. The Cardinal have overcome losses the past two years to win the Pac-12 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.''

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,'' 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.''

The Cardinal played at Army last season and only led by seven at the half before coming away with a 34-20 win. This will be the Black Knights' first visit to Stanford since 1979, and they trail 6-5 in the all-time series.

"We've got our hands full. It's going to be a tremendous challenge, but we're excited for the opportunity," said Jeff Monken, who beat Buffalo 47-39 last Saturday in his Army coaching debut.

"It was a really good half of football against them last year and hopefully that gives our guys some confidence that they can play with a great football team like Stanford."

Army ran for 284 yards in last year's meeting and had 341 in the opener, including 174 and two touchdowns from senior running back Larry Dixon.

"What we do is what we do. We can't masquerade what we're trying to do very much," Monken said. "We want to run the football, (the Cardinal) know that, we know that, and if we hope to have any success we're going to have to be able to run the ball successfully."

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