The Heisman runner-up had 300 all-purpose yards vs. the Huskies last season. In all, Christian McCaffrey rushed for 2,019 yards in 2015.
Christian McCaffrey had 109 yards rushing, 112 yards receiving and 79 yards on kick returns — 300 all-purpose yards in all — in Stanford’s 31-14 victory over Washington last season.
This season, McCaffrey leads the Pac-12 in rushing and leads No. 7 Stanford (3-0, 2-0 Pac-12) in receiving, and he will obviously be the focal point of the Huskies’ defensive game plan Friday night at Husky Stadium.
The No. 10 Huskies (4-0, 1-0) say it will take a team effort on defense to slow down the Heisman Trophy runner-up, who rushed for 2,019 yards in 2015.
“They’re lining him up in a lot of different spots, and we’re just looking to stop what they’re comfortable doing,” UW junior linebacker Keishawn Bierria said Tuesday. “We’re just focused on stopping him any way we can.”
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The Huskies held McCaffrey below his season average in rushing last season, but where he really hurt the Huskies was in the passing game — with receptions of 24, 21 and 50 yards.
“We definitely have to fill our fill our gaps, play good defense and tackle. Pretty much, that’s it,” Bierria said. “I really don’t see him doing anything that’s just mind-boggling. But we definitely just got to do our job, play good defense, tackle and don’t just put it on one guy — make sure there’s somebody there to help”
The loss at Stanford was the one game last year when the Huskies never mustered much of a fight, and UW coach Chris Petersen has acknowledged the Cardinal physically wore down his team.
Stanford dominated time of possession last season, holding the ball for 40 minutes, 5 seconds — just the fifth time in school history UW had allowed an opponent to have possession for more than 40 minutes.
Part of that had to do with UW’s ineffectiveness on offense. Quarterback Jake Browning was held out of that game with a minor shoulder injury, and K.J. Carta-Samuels, then a redshirt freshman, made his starting debut for UW at Stanford. The results were predictable.
“We didn’t get much done on offense,” Petersen said, looking back. “(Stanford) played really good on defense and shut us down. I always think the offense and defense have to work in tandem. The defense can only hold them for so long if the offense isn’t producing. … It just wasn’t close enough to keep our defense inspired, in my opinion.”
The Huskies were also limited on defense in that game, with four regular starters either limited or held out — including Bierria, who had sprained an ankle a week earlier against Oregon.
Bierria certainly sounds inspired now.
NOTE: Uber, in partnership with the City of Seattle, announced that offering 50-percent off rides to and from Husky Stadium Friday night. Enter the promo code “HOMESAFEUW” and Uber will pick up/drop off at E. Stevens Way N.E. across from the stadium.