Rose Bowl grades: McCaffrey earns best grade of season in rout over Iowa
Here are the top takeaways along with the highest graded players from Stanford’s Rose Bowl win Friday over Iowa.
–Heisman finalist Christian McCaffrey (+7.3) was simply electric in this one. He turned Stanford’s first play from scrimmage into a 75-yard touchdown catch and followed that up with big play after big play. McCaffrey racked up 172 yards rushing on just 18 carries, tacked on 105 yards receiving on four catches (he caught all four passes thrown to him), and the one punt he returned, he took 63 yards for a touchdown. McCaffrey posted a +12.7 overall grade between the Rose Bowl and Pac-12 Championship game — that’s incredible.
–McCaffrey got help from a strong overall performance from the offensive line. With the exception of LG Joshua Garnett (-2.5), every starter on Stanford’s O-line posted an overall grade of +2.5 or better. As a group they combined for a +5.4 run-blocking grade and TE Austin Hooper (+0.2) also contributed with a +1.2 run blocking grade.
–On the defensive side, Stanford was led by a dominant performance from DE Aziz Shittu (+7.1). Shittu lead the team with eight stops and he also tallied six total pressures (two sacks, four hurries) as a pass-rusher. One other notable performance on defense was that of OLB Mike Tyler (+4.7) as a pass-rusher. Tyler recorded seven total pressures (one sack, one hit, five hurries) on just 10 pass-rush attempts.
RB Christian McCaffrey (+7.3)
DE Aziz Shittu (+7.1)
DE Brennan Scarlett (+5.3)
OLB Mike Tyler (+4.7)
C Graham Shuler (+3.1)
–It was a long night for QB C.J. Beathard (-2.4), who posted just his second negatively graded game of the season (the other being -6.6 in Week 5 versus Wisconsin). reathard was great when his offensive line bought him some time, going 14 of 18 for 196 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a +2.0 PFF grade on throws without pressure. On throws under pressure, however, he was just 7 of 15 for 43 yards, no touchdowns, one interception and a -3.0 PFF grade.
–It was a miserable performance all-around by the Iowa offensive line (six different lineman played at least 26 snaps, and those six combined for a -26.1 overall grade), with LT Cole Croston (-10.1) leading the unit in futility. Croston’s -3.3 run-blocking grade indicates that it wasn’t a good night for him in the run game, but where he really hurt the Hawkeyes was in pass protection, where he earned a -7.1 grade thanks to allowing nine total pressures (one sack, one hit, seven hurries).
–On the defensive side of the ball, there’s really no one area at which to point the blame; Iowa’s defense was just completely outclassed by the Cardinal offense yesterday. As a unit, the Hawkeyes defense compiled a -20.4 overall grade, with eight different players finishing with an overall grade of -1.0 or worse. LB Bo Bower (+1.5) was the only player to finish with an overall grade north of +1.0.
LB Bo Bower (+1.5)
RB LeShun Daniels Jr. (+1.5)
RB Akrum Wadley (+0.6)
C Austin Blythe (+0.2)
RB Jordan Canzeri (+0.1)