The post Christian McCaffrey era starts off with an exclamation point as the Stanford Cardinal win their 3rd Sun Bowl Trophy by escaping with a 25-23 win over North Carolina. In what may be his final college game, Mitch Trubisky likely made a big impression on NFL scouts. The North Carolina quarterback finished 23-of-39 for 280 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. With 1:30 left on the clock, Trubisky engineered a 10-play, 97-yard scoring drive that put the Tar Heels in a position to tie the game. The Cardinal brought the house led by DL Solomon Thomas on North Carolina's two-point attempt, and Trubisky didn't stand a chance securing a 5th 10 win season under David Shaw and 6th in the last 7 seasons.
Thomas had an absolute monster game in the trenches getting 7 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and the biggest sack icing the game.It was a fitting end to the game since the Stanford defense was the biggest reason the Cardinal pulled out the win. With Christian McCaffrey sitting out the Sun Bowl, the offense gained just 287 total yards, well below its season average (374.1 yards per game). McCaffrey's replacement, Bryce Love, had a nice game, rushing for 115 yards on 22 carries and catching one pass for 49 yards and a touchdown. However QB Kellyer Chryst had suffered a torn ACL so he might be out for next season and Ryan Burns who came in to replace Chryst didn't fare so well so that will be a huge question mark for the Cardinal in the offseason.
It will be diffcult for the Cardinal to contend in the PAC-12 Conference with Washington, Washington St., USC, Colorado just to name a few that had bounce back and surprising seasons. However Stanford has remained one of the most consistent and deepest programs in the country within the last five seasons so I expect the Cardinal to be in the hunt for another PAC 12 Title. #SUNBOWLCHAMPS #PartyInTheBackfield #Nothingbut❤