Coming into this season we expected to see a highlight reel of Christian McCaffrey “shakin -n- bakin” opponents, similar to how another number five, Reggie Bush, ignited the sports world a decade ago. Reggie Bush, however, had a great supporting cast of players around him that could match his performance on the field. In the last two games, McCaffrey has been shutdown and here we are questioning if Stanford was overrated coming into the season. Yes, maybe we are! It is very shocking that more players are not involved in the offense. It is a big reason why this offense has struggled this season.
Stopped not Reloaded
The Cardinal went into this season with the offense focusing around Christian McCaffrey. Last season Kevin Hogan reduced the pressure and focus off of Mccaffrey with his mobility, connecting on downs and distances with clutch play. This season Ryan Burns for the most part has not had the impact as Hogan. This could be a reason why David Shaw is calling a conservative game plan. The tight end position is not as strong as it has been the last six or seven years. So who do you give the ball to? Our Heisman trophy candidate. David Shaw has to be more creative for the offense to have more success going forward. The Cardinal still have a long season ahead to qualify for one of the better bowl games and fight for recruits.
Where do you go from here?
One player has caught many eyes for the Cardinal offense; it’s sophomore receiver JJ Arcega Whiteside. David Shaw needs to get this kid more involved in the offense. In the last three games Whiteside has caught three touchdown passes. The entire offense has to be revamped moving forward to find productivity. Teams have found a way to stop McCaffrey from producing by loading the box. In the last two games, stopping him has resulted in back-to-back losses. At this point you open the offense up and find out if there is any other guys that can contribute now that Christian McCaffrey is questionable vs. Notre Dame.