Today we kick off our series looking at some of the top individual performances in the Pac-12 in 2015.
Up first: McCaffrey goes McCrazy
Who and against whom: Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey turned in one of the best individual games in the country with Stanford’s 56-35 win over UCLA back in October. It was a Thursday night game and really the first time the country got a look at what the eventual Heisman runner-up was all about.
The numbers: McCaffrey carried 25 times for 243 yards (a school record) and scored four touchdowns on the ground -- including a 70-yard touchdown on a wildcat run. He also had a 96-yard kickoff return that set up a Kevin Hogan touchdown pass to Austin Hooper. In total, McCaffrey finished with 369 all-purpose yards.
A closer look: This game will likely be remembered for Francis Owusu's acrobatic-no-look-hugging-the-defender-catch. And that’s fair. It was one of the best catches of the season. But this was really the first time in 2015 that the nation really saw what McCaffrey was capable of. He came into the game with just one rushing touchdown and a few nice rushing performances against USC, Oregon State and Arizona. But he really broke it open as the Cardinal topped the Bruins for the eighth straight game. Only three other Pac-12 players accounted for 24 points in a game this season (Gabe Marks, Bralon Addison and Myles Gaskin) and only he and Gaskin rushed for four touchdowns in a single game. There were a total of seven 200-yard rushing performances in the Pac-12 in 2015. McCaffrey owned three of them.