McCaffrey's big day helps lead Stanford past Oregon State


McCaffrey's big day helps lead Stanford past Oregon State

STANFORD — With a young quarterback making his second career start, Stanford coach David Shaw was fully comfortable having his team run the ball on its final 29 plays from scrimmage.

With a backfield tandem of 2015 Heisman Trophy finalist Christian McCaffrey and promising sophomore Bryce Love, Shaw's decision was really a no-brainer.

McCaffrey rushed for 199 yards and a touchdown, Love scored on a 56-yard touchdown run and Stanford beat Oregon State 26-15 on Saturday afternoon.

Conrad Ukropina kicked a career-high four field goals, including a personal best-tying 52-yarder in the first half, to help the Cardinal (6-3, 4-3 Pac-12) become bowl eligible.

"We were running the ball for six yards a clip, they're getting a little bit tired and we've got two running backs we can rotate through there," Shaw said of his decision to keep the ball on the ground over the final 20 minutes. "When you've got an offensive line that's feeling good and creating creases, and two running backs that are getting better and better, (with) a two-score lead . why put it up in the air? Let's ground this thing and let's end the game."

Stanford sputtered offensively much of the day and had to overcome three fumbled snaps by quarterback Keller Chryst but held on to win its seventh straight against Oregon State (2-7, 1-5).

The Cardinal did it behind another strong outing by its defense, which intercepted Beavers quarterback Marcus McMaryion twice in the second half.

More importantly, Stanford piled up 365 yards rushing and controlled the ball for more than 39 minutes.

"It went well but I go as the O-line goes and they did a fantastic job today," McCaffrey said. "Still, at the end of the day we have a lot of things we have to work on. We have to finish the ball in the end zone. Too many field goals."

McCaffrey, whose 51-yard run in the first half helped set up Ukropina's second field goal, scored on a one-yard run in the third quarter. The 2015 Heisman Trophy finalist was also stopped on a 4th-and-1 plunge late in the fourth quarter.

It's the 16th 100-yard game for McCaffrey since the start of the 2015 season.

Love, a sophomore who filled in when McCaffrey was injured earlier this season, finished with 89 yards on nine carries.

"If there's nobody between him and the goal line you're not going to catch him," Shaw said of Love.

Stanford's ground game was key on a day Chryst was more effective running the ball than throwing it in his second career start. Chryst completed 10 of 17 passes for 60 yards but rushed for 83 including a 44-yard keeper that set up McCaffrey's touchdown.

The win puts Stanford in line for a bowl bid. The Cardinal have played in the Rose Bowl three of the past four years but aren't in the running for the Pac-12 title this time around despite going into the season as favorites.

Ryan Nall rushed for 77 yards on 10 carries for Oregon State. The Beavers have lost four straight and six of seven.

McMaryion passed for one touchdown and ran for another but completed only 10 of 24 attempts for 137 yards.

"Credit Stanford's defense," McMaryion said. "It's real simple. They line up and come at you. They did well in man coverage. We have to execute better."

"I can help the offense more, show my athleticism in the run aspect of the game."


Oregon State: Nall had another solid afternoon running the ball but not much else went right for the Beavers. The offense failed to generate a single first down on four drives and committed a pair of turnovers. That was simply too much to overcome for coach Gary Andersen's team.

Stanford: It's been a rough season for Shaw and his staff but they're still headed for the postseason and that's a positive. Even without much production from the passing game this was an easier-than-it-looked win for the Cardinal. McCaffrey and Love gave the offense a much-needed boost but it was the defense again that made the difference.


Oregon State: The Beavers finally catch a break in the schedule with their Nov. 12 trip to UCLA. The Bruins have dropped four straight this season but beat Oregon State 41-0 in Corvalis a year ago.

Stanford: The Cardinal travel to Eugene to face the Oregon Ducks on Nov. 12 in a meeting between two former Pac-12 champions who have fallen on rough times. Stanford has lost 11 of the previous 14 games against Oregon, including last year's 38-36 loss.

WNBA All-Star sues Cal over alleged sexual assault


WNBA All-Star sues Cal over alleged sexual assault

BERKELEY — Former California women’s basketball player and current WNBA All-Star guard Layshia Clarendon has filed a lawsuit against Cal claiming she was sexually assaulted by a longtime member of the athletic department.

The school acknowledged the lawsuit Wednesday night and said the staff member, Mohamed Muqtar, had recently been placed on paid leave. The assistant director of student services, Muqtar has been working for the university for just more than 25 years, the school said. An e-mail to Muqtar’s Cal email account was not immediately returned.

Cal said in a statement “the University is aware of the complaint, but has not received a copy of the lawsuit nor had the benefit of reviewing the allegations.”

Clarendon, who plays for the Atlanta Dream and was at Cal from 2009-13, posted on Twitter her thoughts about the lawsuit.

She said in three separate tweets:

— “Regarding the news today: I want the shame to not be my own anymore, because it’s not my shame to carry, but it’s something that I’ve had to carry. It’s a horrible thing to live in silence, to carry that pain and that weight and the guilt.”

— “My biggest hope is that he never does this to anyone else. That no one else has to suffer under his hand, or him violating their bodies again. That this would be the end of him assaulting people. #TimesUp.”

— “It feels there is a big level of responsibility there for me, to make sure this doesn’t continue. And he doesn’t continue to harm other people.”

Cal explained in its statement that this case goes beyond the athletic department for investigation.

The statement reads: “Our department policy states that once anyone in Cal Athletics is made aware of any instance or allegation of a violation of University policy involving a coach, staff member or student-athlete, those matters are referred to the appropriate departments on campus responsible for investigating them. Athletics does not have its own specific conduct process nor does it investigate allegations or cases on its own, but follows the University’s policy and works in concert with campus professionals who are responsible for those areas. All university staff are also required to complete sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention training, and those programs have increased in recent years. Cal Athletics is and will always be committed to fostering a culture where everyone feels safe, welcome and respected. We encourage anyone who is feeling distressed or troubled to contact the PATH to Care Center and other campus resources.

“Layshia holds a special place in our history for her contributions to Cal women’s basketball both on and off the court and we are saddened to hear of the allegations that are coming to light today.”

Alabama wins national title on epic walk-off touchdown in OT


Alabama wins national title on epic walk-off touchdown in OT


ATLANTA -- To add another championship to the greatest dynasty college football has ever seen, Alabama turned to its quarterback of the future, and Tua Tagovailoa proved that his time is now.

The freshman quarterback, who had played mostly mop-up duty this season, came off the bench to spark a comeback and threw a 41-yard touchdown to DeVonta Smith that gave No. 4 Alabama a 26-23 overtime victory against No. 3 Georgia on Monday night for the College Football Playoff national championship.

Tagovailoa entered the game at halftime, replacing a struggling Jalen Hurts, and threw three touchdown passes to give the Crimson Tide its fifth national championship since 2009 under coach Nick Saban.

"He just stepped in and did his thing," Hurts said. "He's built for stuff like this. I'm so happy for him." The Tide might have a quarterback controversy ahead of it but first Alabama will celebrate another national title.

For the third straight season, Alabama played in a classic CFP final. The Tide split two with Clemson, losing last season on touchdown with a second left.

What was Saban thinking as the winning pass soared this time?

"I could not believe it," he said. "There's lots of highs and lows. Last year we lost on the last play of the game and this year we won on the last play of the game. These kids really responded the right way. We said last year, `Don't waste the feeling.' They sure didn't, the way they played tonight."

Smith streaked into the end zone and moments later confetti rained and even Saban seemed almost giddy after watching maybe the most improbably victory of his unmatched career.

After Alabama kicker Andy Pappanastos missed a 36-yard field goal that would have won it for the Tide (13-1) in the final seconds of regulation , Georgia (13-2) took the lead with a 51-yard field goal from Rodrigo Blankenship in overtime.

Tagovailoa took a terrible sack on Alabama's first play of overtime, losing 16 yards. On the next play he found Smith, another freshman, and hit him in stride for the national championship.

Tagovailoa was brilliant at times, though he had a few freshman moments. He threw an interception when he tried to pass on a running play and all his receivers were blocking. He also darted away from the pass rushers and made some impeccable throws, showing the poise of a veteran. Facing fourth-and-goal from 7, down seven, the left-hander moved to his left and zipped a pass through traffic that hit Calvin Ridley in the numbers for the tying score with 3:49 left in the fourth quarter.

He finished 14 for 24 for 166 yards. The winning play was, basically, four receivers going deep.

"After the sack, we just got up and took it to the next play," Tagovailoa said. "I looked back out, and he was wide open. Smitty was wide open." Freshmen were everywhere for the Alabama offense: Najee Harris at running back, Henry Ruggs III at receiver, Alex Leatherwood at left tackle after All-American Jonah Williams was hurt. It's a testament to the relentless machine Saban has built.

But this game will be remembered most for his decision to change quarterbacks trailing 13-0.

"I just thought we had to throw the ball, and I felt he could do it better, and he did," Saban said. "He did a good job, made some plays in the passing game. Just a great win. I'm so happy for Alabama fans. Great for our players. Unbelievable."

Saban now has six major poll national championships, including one at LSU, matching the record set by the man who led Alabama's last dynasty, coach Paul Bear Bryant.

This was nothing like the others.

With President Trump in attendance, the all-Southeastern Conference matchup was all Georgia in the first half before Saban pulled Hurts and the five-star recruit from Hawaii entered. The president watched the second half from Air Force One.

"I don't know how Coach Saban found me all the way in Hawaii from Alabama," Tagovailoa said. "Thank God he found me and we're here right now."

The Tide trailed 20-7 in the third quarter after Georgia's freshman quarterback, Jake Fromm, hit Mecole Hardman for an 80-yard touchdown pass that had the Georgia fans feeling good about ending a national title drought that dates back to 1980.

Fromm threw for 232 yards for a while it looked as if he was going to be the freshman star for the game, the first to true freshman to lead his team to a national title season since Jamelle Holieway for Oklahoma in 1985.

"I mean, if you want to find out about Jake Fromm, go ask those guys on the other side of the ball, and they'll tell you because that's a really good defense he just went against," Smart said.

A little less than a year after the Atlanta Falcons blew a 25-point lead and lost in overtime to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, there was more pain for many of the local fans. Two years ago, Georgia brought in Saban's top lieutenant, Kirby Smart, to coach the Bulldogs and bring to his alma mater a dose of Alabama's Process.

Smart, who spent 11 seasons with Saban - eight as his defensive coordinator in Tuscaloosa - quickly built `Bama East. It was Georgia that won the SEC this season. Alabama had to slip into the playoff without even winning its own division.

With the title game being held 70 miles from Georgia's campus in Athens, Dawg fans packed Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but it turned out to be sweet home for Alabama and now Saban is 12-0 against his former assistants.

But not without angst.

Alabama drove into the red zone in the final minute and Saban started playing for a field goal that would end the game and win it for the Tide. A nervous quiet gripped the crowd of 77,430 as `Bama burned the clock. With the ball centered in the middle of the field, Pappanastos lined up for a kick to win the national championship. The snap and hold looked fine, but the kicked missed badly to the left.

For the second straight week, Georgia was going to overtime. The Bulldogs beat Oklahoma in a wild Rose Bowl in double overtime to get here, and after Jonathan Ledbetter and Davin Bellamy sacked Tagovailoa for a big loss on the first play, Alabama was in trouble - second-and-26.

Not for long. Tagovailoa looked off the safety and threw the biggest touchdown pass in the history of Alabama football.