McCaffrey runs for 156 yards, No. 18 Stanford beats Arizona
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Christian McCaffrey dove into the end zone, even though it wasn’t necessary. He just wanted to make sure he got in for his first career touchdown rushing.
McCaffrey ran for 156 yards and a touchdown, Remound Wright scored three times and No. 18 Stanford overwhelmed Arizona 55-17 on Saturday night.
”It’s so exciting to have four guys in the backfield having success,” McCaffrey said. ”We don’t worry about the stats. If one guy is going well, it’s the running back’s success and we want to keep it going.”
Kevin Hogan threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns to help the Cardinal (4-1, 3-0 Pac-12) win their fourth straight after an opening loss to Northwestern. Hogan also moved into fifth place on Stanford’s career passing yardage list.
”I can’t say enough about the leadership he’s given us,” Cardinal coach David Shaw said. ”He’s playing the best of his career. He’s leading the team and guys are responding.”
Hogan played his second game on a sore left ankle, an injury that kept him in the pocket most of the night.
”I had so much adrenaline going in, I don’t think I even felt it,” Hogan said. ”I feel like I can do a little more, especially when the pocket breaks down. Fortunately the checkdowns were there.”
Barry Sanders added a 65-yard touchdown run for Stanford, which has scored 40 or more points in three straight games for the first time in 14 years. The Cardinal have scored at least 37 points in five straight against the Wildcats.
Jerrard Randall passed for 178 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another 67 yards for Arizona (3-2, 0-2). The Wildcats were coming off a 56-30 home loss to UCLA.
”He competed. He was bothered by a little bit of a hamstring or something because he didn’t have the same burst,” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said of Randall. ”I could tell that early on. He tried, he competed well but we didn’t execute.”
Nick Wilson, who entered the game as the conference’s leading rusher, was held to 46 yards, though he had a touchdown.
Stanford’s brute force along the offensive line and McCaffrey’s nimbleness, proved too much for the Wildcats, who were without All-America linebacker Scooby Wright. The Cardinal gained 314 yards on the ground and 570 in total offense.
”We didn’t stop anything they wanted to do,” Rodriguez said. ”They wanted to throw, they threw. They wanted to run, they ran it.”
McCaffrey, who rushed for a career-high 206 yards and ended up with 303 all-purpose yards last week at Oregon State, became the first Stanford runner to have three consecutive 100-plus yards in more than two years.
”It all starts with the guys up front,” McCaffrey said. ”Those are exciting numbers for us and we still have more in the tank.”
Hogan completed 17 of 19 passes, including scoring tosses of 16 yards to Wright and 18 yards to Michael Rector. Conrad Okropina connected on a pair of field goals. Backup Keller Chryst completed all four of his passes, including his first career touchdown strike, a 6-yarder to Rollins Stallworth.
Arizona starting quarterback Anu Solomon did not make the trip after sustaining a concussion against UCLA. Randall opened the game in Solomon’s absence and never got untracked in the first half, leading the Wildcats on one scoring drive, a 26-yard field goal by Casey Skowron.
Brandon Dawkins took over in the fourth quarter without much success and the Wildcats dropped their fourth straight to Stanford and 10th in 13 overall.
Randall guided the Wildcats on an eight-play, 75-yard drive to open the second half. Arizona faced a second-and-25 play early in the drive, but Randall completed a 21-yard pass to Johnny Jackson and ran for another 28 to help set up his 15-yard scoring toss to Jackson.
McCaffrey, the son of former NFL star Ed McCaffrey, returned the ensuing kickoff 67 yards and Stanford’s scoring spree continued.
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