NCAA

Without McCaffrey, Stanford wins Sun Bowl by stopping two-point conversion

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AP

Without McCaffrey, Stanford wins Sun Bowl by stopping two-point conversion

BOX SCORE

EL PASO, Texas -- Bryce Love took over for the absent Christian McCaffrey in the Stanford backfield, running for 119 yards and catching a 49-yard touchdown pass to help the No. 16 Cardinal beat North Carolina 25-23 on Friday in the Sun Bowl.

Stanford (10-3) held on after North Carolina (8-5) pulled within two with 25 seconds left on Mitch Trubisky's 2-yard pass to Bug Howard, sacking Trubisky on the 2-point conversion try.

McCaffrey skipped the bowl game to focus on his NFL career.

Stanford took a 25-17 lead on Conrad Ukropina's 27-yard field goal with 3:23 left. North Carolina was forced to punt on its next series, but used two timeouts to get the ball back.

After taking over at their own 3, the Tar Heels drove 97 yards in 10 plays and 1:11. After competing passes of 44 and 27 yards, Trubisky capped the drive with the 2-yard scoring pass to Howard.

Stanford then sacked Trubisky on the 2-point try, a rush led by Solomon Thomas forcing the quarterback to retreat before being taken down. Thomas was selected the game's MVP, and the Cardinal defense also got a big game from safety Dallas Lloyd.

Lloyd intercepted Trubisky's pass in the first half, then again early in the fourth quarter. He returned that one 19 yards for a touchdown to give Stanford a 22-17 lead. That stalled a North Carolina rally that saw it go from being down 13-7 at the half and 16-7 early in the third to taking a 17-16 lead. That came after a 37-yard field goal by Nick Weiler and a 5-yard TD run by Jordon Brown.

THE TAKEAWAY

Stanford: The Cardinal faced a lot of problems Friday. Starting quarterback Kellery Chryst left with a knee injury in the second quarter, forcing backup Ryan Burns into the game. At that point, they were without their top two backfield weapons. The Cardinal also uncharacteristically shot themselves in the foot with penalties, including two crucial ones that forced it into field goal tries. They finished the game with 12 penalties for 85 yards, but still won. Stanford also had a touchdown overturned on review. Ukropina kicked four field goals to tie a Sun Bowl record and was named the game's Most Valuable Special Teams Player. The Cardinal adjusted the game plan a little without McCaffrey, coming out throwing on four of their first five plays against a North Carolina defense loaded up to stop the run.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels hurt themselves in the first half with two turnovers, each of which led to a field goal, then added a killer in the third quarter when Lloyd intercepted Trubisky's pass and returned it for a TD. UNC couldn't overcome those mistakes. Defensively, however, North Carolina was solid in the first half, holding Stanford to a field goal after a turnover at their own 19 and forcing the Cardinal to kick four field goals despite being in the red zone three times.

UP NEXT

Stanford: Going into the Sun Bowl without McCaffrey, head coach David Shaw was asked if anything would change. He said no. The same goes for the Cardinal going into next season. Their season opener is Sept. 2 at Rice.

North Carolina: The big question is whether or not Trubisky will return next year. If so, the Tar Heels will return all but three players on offense, but will miss receiver Ryan Switzer and two starters on the line. Their season opener is Sept. 2 at home against California.

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

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AP

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

BOX SCORE

PALO ALTO — Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.

K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.

Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.

The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.

The nation's leading rusher going into the game, Love was held in check most of the game by Cal's defense and sat out the final 11:43 after re-injuring his ankle that has bothered him for the past month. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.

Scarlett, Love's primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal's last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett's 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.

Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox's first season.

THE TAKEAWAY

California: The Bears made the Cardinal sweat and kept the game a lot closer than many thought possible. Wilcox's defense did a good job bottling up Love most of the game but couldn't stop Scarlett on the final drive which was huge. Still, there are plenty of positives for Cal to take out of this one.

Stanford: It wasn't the best game for David Shaw's team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.

UP NEXT

California: Ends the regular season at UCLA on Saturday.

Stanford: The Cardinal stay home and will host No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

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AP

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The New Orleans Saints say running back Daniel Lasco has feelings in his extremities after suffering a spinal injury making a tackle on a kickoff return during today's game at Buffalo.

Lasco was loaded into an ambulance on the field and taken to a hospital.

He was hurt six minutes into the second quarter when he appeared to lower his head while tackling Bills returner Brandon Tate. 

Lasco played four seasons at the University of California, Berkeley. He gained 1,471 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns his junior year. In 2015 as a senior, Lasco was limited to nine games and only totaled 355 yards. 

The Saints selected Lasco in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report