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Recapping Stanford’s Big Win over Cal

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In-depth look at the 45-31 Stanford Big Game win

NCAA Football: Stanford at California Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

It was all offense Saturday as Cal and Stanford traded blows all game long, with Stanford finally pulling ahead late in the game. Davis Webb almost reached 400 yards and Keller Chryst had three total touchdowns, but this game was decided on the ground.

Stanford ran for 357 yards, crushing Cal’s paltry 90. Christian McCaffrey rumbled for 284 yards along with three touchdowns and looked unstoppable. As crazy as it seems McCaffrey may have played himself into being a fringe Heisman candidate despite sitting out with an injury. He has ended the the year as strong as any player in the country and this offensive line is partly responsible. They have been playing solid and as a unit since the game against Notre Dame. They only let up one sack against Cal and pushed around the defensive line for the Golden Bears.

Despite the dominance of the offensive line, the defense failed to force a sack but did tally five tackles for loss. Both defenses also failed to force a turnover in the game as it was all offense all game long. Stanford was just more dominant on the ground and in time of possession.

Final Thoughts

Is it fair to say that Chryst is not the permanent fix at quarterback for Stanford? He has been a great patch on a leak but out of a four game sample size against some lackluster opponents. Outside of his Oregon game, his passing stats are 104, 60 and 198. He is doing just enough while not giving up turnovers to help give McCaffrey and Bryce Love running room. But as far as next season, K.J. Costello still has as much of a shot as Chryst to win the starting job.

It was also troubling that the Stanford secondary gave up 393 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns through the air on a day that the defensive line held Cal to 90 rushing yards. Yes Davis Webb is a great quarterback, but this is supposed to be where Stanford was stout. They were torched and did not force a turnover. Not a great game for the back end of the defense.

That said they still put up 45 and won a shootout that they would not have won earlier this season. Healthy McCaffrey may be the scariest college running back since Adrian Peterson on the Sooners.

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