McCaffrey's health hangs over Cardinal's tilt

McCaffrey's health hangs over Stanford-Colorado

Stanford survived last Saturday’s contest against the Fighting Irish without the manifold talents of Christian McCaffrey. Can it do the same vs. Colorado?

David Shaw’s squad may not have a choice. The Cardinal’s Heisman Trophy hopeful remains questionable after sustaining an undisclosed injury on Oct. 8. Nonetheless, the school will host the Buffaloes this afternoon at 3 p.m. ET. Online sports book BetDSI opened Pasadena’s finest as 3.5-point favorites entering Week 8. The over/under is 49.5.

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Despite McCaffrey’s absence, Stanford knocked off Notre Dame 17-10. Sophomore Bryan Love stepped into the void at running back and racked up a career-best 129 yards. Yet the idea of fending off a rising Colorado group sounds considerably less palatable if McCaffrey, who set an FBS record for all-purpose yards in 2015, can’t go.

For their part, the Buffs simply want to keep rolling on offense. Mike MacIntyre’s troops posted another powerful performance a week ago, whipping Arizona State 40-16. Tailback Phillip Lindsay led the way, amassing 219 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. In fact, Colorado has been held below 20 points only once this year.

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Irrespective of the home-field advantage, the Cardinal must start faster. Shaw’s all too aware of the fact that his team’s last first-half TD came on Sept. 10. With or without McCaffrey, however, the Buffaloes’ defense surrenders a fair share of chunk gains.

 

SATURDAY NCAA FREE PICK: COLORADO/STANFORD OVER 49.5 POINTS

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