Stanford's Christian McCaffrey a question mark vs Irish
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Running back Christian McCaffrey' status for Stanford's game against Notre Dame may not be clear until Saturday morning, coach David Shaw said Tuesday.
Last year's Heisman Trophy runner-up did not play most of the second half of last Saturday's 42-16 loss to Washington State.
''He got banged up over the course of the game and it didn't make sense to put him back in,'' Shaw said. ''We will be cautious with him as with everybody else. I will have no answer until Friday or maybe Saturday.''
Stanford (3-2) plays at Notre Dame (2-4) on Saturday.
After rushing for 436 yards over his first three games, all victories, the junior has been limited to 84 total rushing yards over his last two games, both losses.
McCaffrey averages 188.2 all-purpose yards, third in the FBS. But he has not scored a touchdown since Week 2 and has just three on the season.
Stanford averaged 2.3 yards per rushing attempt against the Cougars and McCaffrey's 35 yards were his fewest since gaining 19 against California two years ago.
''There are a few things we need to clean up to give our running backs a clear running lane,'' Cardinal lineman David Bright said. ''We haven't been the best offensive line in protecting the passer either. We've stressed being an efficient offense on first and second downs.''
Shaw called the play of the offensive line ''spotty at best,'' though he did not put the entire blame on that unit.
''We have been inconsistent one through 11,'' Shaw said. ''It looks like the offensive line because we didn't run with any efficiency early in the game and because of the sacks. We all have a hand in it.''
NOTES: WR Francis Owusu, who sustained a concussion against UCLA, needs to pass one final test before he's cleared. ... TE Greg Taboada, OL Casey Tucker and CB Quenton Meeks are also close to returning. ... FB Daniel Marx and CB Elijah Holder remain doubtful.