When this season began, neither Kevin Hogan nor Cody Vaz figured to be starting in a critical Pac-12 matchup.
The quarterbacks could be needed to shoulder heavy burdens Saturday when Hogan and No. 16 Stanford host Vaz and No. 13 Oregon State.
Any chance these teams have of catching unbeaten and second-ranked Oregon in the Pac-12 North standings likely hinges on winning this game. Stanford (7-2, 5-1) and Oregon State (7-1, 5-1) will both be using signal-callers who began the season as backups.
"Usually you're in these positions because your quarterback is playing and playing well," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "But I think also both teams have to do what's necessary to hopefully help their teams win."
Shaw started senior Josh Nunes for the first nine games, but made a change during last Saturday's 48-0 win at Colorado. Hogan entered in relief and completed 18 of 23 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns while carrying seven times for 48 yards.