Christian McCaffrey, Defense Lead Stanford – Workhorse performance nets junior 260 all-purpose yards
Posted September 18, 2016 by Alforde Joaquin in
McCaffrey, Defense Lead Stanford
Workhorse performance nets junior 260 all-purpose yards
By David Kiefer
DIRECT LINK TO STANFORD ATHLETICS WEBSITE
STANFORD, Calif. – Christian McCaffrey scored two first-half touchdowns, but receiver Michael Rector made the game-breaking rushing play that sealed Stanford’s 27-10 Pac-12-opening victory over USC on Saturday night at Stanford Stadium.
With Stanford leading 20-10, and after a play fake to McCaffrey, Rector took an end around into the open field. He broke a tackle at the five to score with 3:26 left in the third quarter to give the Cardinal the gap it needed to hold off the Trojans.
No. 7 Stanford (2-0 overall, 1-0 Pac-12) earned its third consecutive victory over the Trojans and seventh in their past nine meetings — by far the Cardinal’s most successful stretch in the series.
After USC closed to within 17-10 on its first second-half possession, the Stanford defense held the Trojans scoreless on their next four possessions, including an end zone interception off a deflected pass by Noor Davis with 1:47 left, to close out the game.
The stops allowed Stanford to add to its lead and to use up time on long possessions. The result was the prototype Stanford victory — grinding time-consuming drives with some timely passes, flair from McCaffrey, and a rested defense doing its part.
McCaffrey was a workhorse, carrying the ball 30 times — three short of his career-high — for 165 yards (5.5 yards per carry). He also had four catches for 73 yards, and one kickoff return for 22. His all-purpose total of 260 yards marked his eighth consecutive game of 200 or more.
McCaffrey scored on a 56-yard pass play in the first quarter and closed the half with a one-yard scoring plunge. In two games, McCaffrey has scored four touchdowns, including three of 35 yards or more.
On Stanford’s second possession, the presence of sophomore running back Bryce Love, who missed the opener with an injury, helped create the McCaffrey reception. After a play fake to Love, quarterback Ryan Burns threw to a wide-open McCaffrey, who came out of the backfield on a wheel route and outran the defense down the left sideline.
His second touchdown came on a fourth-down dive to cap a stretch of seven consecutive McCaffrey carries. Among them was a 33-yarder of vintage McCaffrey, a swivel, broken tackle, and cut to the inside on his way to the Trojans’ 2.
Ryan Burns stayed perfect in his first season as a starter, completing 9 of 15 passes for 109 yards, with a touchdown and interception.
Next Saturday, the Cardinal returns to the Rose Bowl — site of its 45-16 rout of Iowa on New Year’s Day — to play UCLA in a 5 p.m. PT contest.
— #GoStanford —
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