Keller Chyrst has game and he showed it in No. 18 Stanford's 55-17 rout of visiting Arizona on Saturday night, putting the Cardinal atop the North Division of the Pac-12 football standings entering a bye week.
The Palo Alto High grad took over for a handful of plays in the first half and then ran the team for a good portion of the second half in place of starting quarterback Kevin Hogan, who had another monster game.
Chryst completed all four of his pass attempts, including his first career touchdown pass, a six-yarder to fifth-year senior Rollins Stallworth, who scored his first career touchdown.
Chryst also showed his moves as a runner, maneuvering his way 33 yards into the end zone on a play that was called back because of a penalty.
It was Chryst's blocking skills that had his teammates talking. He was the lead blocker on an end-around by Bryce Love and he flattened his man, allowing Love to run for nine yards, setting up the TD pass.
"We were in his ear about it," Hogan said. "He needed to go out and pancake someone and that's what he does. He's such a big, physical athlete who will do what he can to help the team."
Stanford coach David Shaw called the block "phenomenal."
"Both backup quarterbacks are big, physical athletes," he added. "Keller is a good football player and he has a chance to be a very good quarterback."
Christian McCaffrey scored his first career rushing touchdown, diving over the goal line to make sure he was in. He also rushed for 156 yards. Remound Wright scored three times, Barry J. Sanders ripped off a 65-yard touchdown and Love showed off his moves on a few plays.
"It's so exciting to have four guys in the backfield having success," McCaffrey said. "We don't worry about the stats. If one guy is going well, it's the running back's success and we want to keep it going."
Speaking of stats, McCaffrey improved his per game average to 122.0 yards, which is currently third in the Pac-12. Arizona's Nick Wilson maintains the conference lead (123.2), despite being held to 46 yards. Oregon's Royce Freeman improved to 122.6.
Kevin Hogan threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns to help the Cardinal (4-1, 3-0 Pac-12) win their fourth straight after an opening loss to Northwestern. Hogan also moved into fifth place on Stanford's career passing yardage list.
"I can't say enough about the leadership he's given us," Shaw said. "He's playing the best of his career. Her's leading the team and guys are responding."
Hogan played his second game on a sore left ankle, an injury that kept him in the pocket most of the night.
"I had so much adrenaline going in, I don't think I even felt it," Hogan said. "I feel like I can do a little more, especially when the pocket breaks down. Fortunately the check downs were there."
Stanford scored 40 or more points in its third straight game for the first time in 14 years. The Cardinal have scored at least 37 points in five straight against the Wildcats.
Stanford's brute force along the offensive line and McCaffrey's nimbleness, proved too much for the Wildcats, who were without All-America linebacker Scooby Wright. The Cardinal gained 314 yards on the ground and 570 in total offense.
"Hats off to those guys up front," McCaffrey said. "It all starts with them. It's a matter of execution. Our guys are making plays. We're finding what works and we keep doing it well. We've taken that to heart."
McCaffrey, who rushed for a career-high 206 yards and ended up with 303 all-purpose yards last week at Oregon State, became the first Stanford runner to have three consecutive 100-plus yards in over two years.
"The offensive line played extremely well," Shaw said. "They are jelling out there. McCaffrey made a lot of tough, physical runs. Barry J, we continue to play him and he continues to make plays. He's got special skills."
Hogan completed 17 of 19 passes, including scoring tosses of 16 yards to Wright and 18 yards to Michael Rector. Conrad Okropina connected on a pair of field goals.
Arizona starting quarterback Anu Solomon did not make the trip after sustaining a concussion against UCLA. Randall opened the game in Solomon's absence and never got untracked in the first half, leading the Wildcats on one scoring drive, a 26-yard field goal by Casey Skowron.
Brandon Dawkins took over in the fourth quarter without much success and the Wildcats dropped their fourth straight to Stanford and 10th in 13 overall.
Randall guided the Wildcats on an eight-play, 75-yard drive to open the second half. Arizona faced a second-and-25 play early in the drive, but Randall completed a 21-yard pass to Johnny Jackson and ran for another 28 to help set up his 15-yard scoring toss to Jackson.
McCaffrey returned the ensuing kickoff 67 yards and Stanford's scoring spree continued.