One of the more puzzling aspects to the college football season as we near the halfway point is figuring out what exactly has happened to Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.
A year after setting a new FBS record for all-purpose yardage and finishing as the runner up in the Heisman Trophy voting, the Cardinal star has been extremely quiet on the field as the team has lost two straight games. Things have gone from bad to worse however as he suffered an injury against Washington State that could put his status in doubt for this week’s rivalry game against Notre Dame.
“McCaffrey did get banged up,” Stanford coach David Shaw said Saturday night. “But there was no reason to put him in late in the game. We just left him out. We’ll see how he is during the course of the week.”
Shaw declined to speculate further on McCaffrey after he finished with just 35 yards rushing against the Cougars. He went to the locker room in the second half with what some described as an apparent hip injury and didn’t return action but did stand on the sideline with his helmet on.
No matter who is in the backfield though, Stanford’s trip to South Bend this week should pit two teams with their backs against the wall after a rough six weeks. McCaffrey could bounce back from whatever took him out of the second half on Saturday night which might not be what the Irish defense wants to hear given how their season has gone thus far.