Stanford wins 7th straight Big Game, beats Cal 45-31
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) Christian McCaffrey's 90-yard touchdown run highlighted a record-setting 284-yard rushing performance that led Stanford to its seventh straight Big Game win, 45-31 over California on Saturday.
McCaffrey broke his own single-game rushing record at Stanford of 243 yards and the Big Game record of 226 yards set by Cal's Joe Igber in 2002 to help the Cardinal (8-3, 6-3 Pac-12) keep the coveted Axe with yet another win over their rival.
Stanford matched the longest win streak in the rivalry that dates back to 1892. The Cardinal also won seven straight against Cal (4-7, 2-6) from 1995-2001.
Davis Webb threw for 393 yards and two touchdowns and Tre Watson ran for two scores for the Golden Bears, who are assured of a fifth losing season in the past six years and will miss out on a bowl bid unless there are not enough six-win teams to fill all the slots.
The game started well for Cal, which stopped Stanford on the opening drive and then scored on its first offensive play on a 70-yard pass from Webb to Chad Hansen.
Stanford tied the game two plays later on a 16-yard run by quarterback Keller Chryst and took control early in the third quarter when McCaffrey burst through the middle for his long touchdown run that was one of his three scoring runs in the game.
Stanford: After a rough stretch in the middle of the season with three losses in four games, the Cardinal are hitting their stride late as the competition gets easier. Chryst has been adequate since replacing Ryan Burns as starter but the biggest difference has been a healthy McCaffrey. He has rushed for 787 yards during a four-game winning streak and scored 10 touchdowns.
California: After a promising start to the season with two wins over ranked teams, the Bears are headed for another losing campaign because of the same problems that have plagued the program ever since Sonny Dykes took over as coach in 2013. The defense has struggled to stop anyone, allowing 51.3 points per game while losing five of the past six contests. The run defense, which came into the game ranked second to last in FBS allowing 283.4 yards per game, was even worse against McCaffrey and the Cardinal. Stanford finished with 357 yards.
Stanford: Host Rice on Saturday to finish the regular season.
California: Host UCLA on Saturday to finish the regular season.
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