By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
On December 30, 2016 at 6:58 pm EST
The #18 Stanford Cardinal proved they did not need star running back Christian McCaffrey to win their bowl game. The Cardinal defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels, 25-23, in the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
McCaffrey elected to skip the bowl game to focus on the 2017 NFL Draft. He made the decision to not play in their finale after Louisiana State running back Leonard Fournette started the trend. Fournette has been battling injuries since the summer time, and he wasn’t expected to play in the bowl game.
This was the second game he missed this season. He missed the Cardinal’s win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Oct. 15.
Fournette missed four regular season games and will miss the fifth when the Tigers play their bowl game.
McCaffrey led the nation with 2,327 all-purpose yards. He also had 1,603 rushing yards.
Bryce Love filled in for McCaffrey and had a 119 rushing yards, including a 59 yard run. He also had a 49 yard touchdown reception.
Mitch Trubisky – the top ranked quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft – had 280 passing yards. He hit Bug Howard for a two yard touchdown reception with 25 seconds left in the game.
The Tar Heels two-point conversion failed after the score.
Trubisky also had two interceptions in the contest. Seconds into the fourth quarter, his pass was intercepted by Dallas Lloyd, who returned it for a 19 yard pick-six.
The Cardinal’s two-point conversion failed after Lloyd’s touchdown.
Conrad Ukropina also made two second half field goals.
Jordan Brown added a five yard rushing touchdown for the Heels. Nick Weiler also made a 37 yard field goal in the second half.
Ukropina had two first half field goals, as well, in the second quarter. Keller Chryst hit Love for a 49 yard touchdown reception.
Chryst left in the second quarter with a knee injury. He had 68 passing yards, before leaving. Ryan Burns came in and had 86 yards.
Trubisky hit Ryan Switzer for a 19 yard touchdown to begin the scoring.
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