Since his freshman season in 2014, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey has been both one of the most consistent and healthiest Cardinal players. McCaffrey has only missed one game in his college career, a week two game against USC in 2014. McCaffrey of course has become one of the best players in the country and entered the season as a Heisman favorite.
McCaffrey will miss a huge opportunity to go up against a Notre Dame Fighting Irish defense that hasn’t been able to stop the run at all this season. The Irish have allowed an average of 181 rushing yards per game in their six games this season, including giving up over 200 yards three times. With the Heisman Race developing into a two man race with Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson leading the way, McCaffrey would have loved to put his name back on the map with a huge game against a high-profile opponent, even if they are in the midst of a very disappointing season. Heisman or not, McCaffrey is still one of the main reasons you buy Stanford football tickets.
McCaffrey recorded 436 yards in his first three games this season, but has been limited to only 84 yards in his last two games against Washington and Washington State. McCaffrey has averaged 188.2 all-purpose yards this season, third-best in the FBS. With Stanford losing their past two games 44-6 and 42-16, it’s no secret that the lack of production from McCaffrey is a huge reason why Stanford dropped their last two games.
McCaffrey did not play for most of the second half in the Washington State game. During the week, head coach David Shaw wasn’t confident his star running back would play, saying, “He got banged up over the course of the game and it didn’t make sense to put him back in. We will be cautious with him as with everybody else. I will have no answer until Friday or maybe Saturday.”
With McCaffrey now ruled out, Stanford will miss its best player as they are on the brink of an unpredicted three-game losing streak. McCaffrey now misses his chance to carve up a weak run defense as his Heisman dreams slowly start to evaporate. Stanford hopes McCaffrey is back to take on Colorado at home, who have surprisingly become a contender in the Pac-12.