McCaffrey leads No. 10 Stanford past Washington 31-14
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Christian McCaffrey limped down the stairs following his postgame interviews with ice bags around both knees and his left hand. That was about the only time he was slowed down all night.
McCaffrey caught a touchdown pass, ran for another score and gained 300 all-purpose yards in another sterling all-around performance to lead No. 10 Stanford to its sixth straight victory, 31-14 over Washington on Saturday night.
”I’m at the point where I don’t know what else I can say other than watch him, just watch him,” coach David Shaw said. ”He’s so quick, so explosive. The little guy never gets tired. He gets pounded, he gets hit, he gets blown up on a kickoff return and we want to sub him and take him out to see if he’s OK and he comes over with a smile on his face.”
Kevin Hogan threw for 290 yards and two scores for the Cardinal (6-1, 5-0 Pac-12). They have topped 30 points in each game since a season-opening loss to Northwestern thanks to their efficient quarterback and all-purpose star.
McCaffrey, who entered the game with an FBS-best 253 all-purpose yards per game, had a 50-yard touchdown catch and 7-yard scoring run in the third quarter. In all, he ran 23 times for 109 yards, caught five passes for a career-high 112 yards and added 79 yards on kick returns in his third 300-yard all-purpose game of the season.
And he paid the price for it as evidenced by all the ice he needed after the game.
”I don’t go into football games expecting not to be hit,” he said. ”It’s a physical game. That’s what our strength staff prepares us for. That’s kind of what we’re built on. I love that stuff and I love contact. That’s why we all play.”
The Huskies (3-4, 1-3) were no match for the Cardinal, especially with starting quarterback Jake Browning watching after he appeared to hurt his right shoulder late in last week’s loss to Oregon. Backup K.J. Carta-Samuels completed just 9 of 21 passes for 118 yards as Washington didn’t even cross midfield until the third quarter.
”When we can’t get anything going in the first half offensively it just puts too much stress on everybody else,” coach Chris Petersen said. ”It makes it a very, very hard game.”
Huskies freshman running back Myles Gaskin ran for 108 yards and a score for his third straight 100-yard game. Gaskin ran five times for 57 yards on the opening drive of the third quarter to cut Stanford’s lead to 17-7.
McCaffrey took over from there. He sneaked out of the backfield on the next drive and hauled in a deep pass from Hogan before outrunning the defense for the touchdown.
”I just tried to get it to him and let him do what he does,” Hogan said. ”He made a guy miss and took it the distance.”
McCaffrey then iced the game with his TD run to cap the next drive, making it 31-7. McCaffrey became the first Stanford player to top 100 yards receiving and rushing in the same game since Glyn Milburn did it in 1991 against Oregon State.
The matchup between the Pac-12’s top offense and top defense was one-sided from the start. Stanford took the opening kickoff and drove 62 yards in six plays for the score on Hogan’s 21-yard pass to Austin Hooper.
The Huskies struggled to move the ball in Carta-Samuels’ his first career start. He entered with three career pass attempts, was frequently off-target and could not even make the easy completions. The Huskies had just two first downs and 58 yards in the first half and never stood a chance.
”There’s a lot of things we as an offense can clean up,” receiver Dante Pettis said. ”It’s hard to throw him into the middle of the season like that.”
The Cardinal methodically moved the ball downfield on their third drive, going 90 yards on 15 plays capped by Remound Wright’s 1-yard dive.
A late 28-yard field goal by Conrad Ukropina made it 17-0 at the break.
AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org