Even at less than full strength, Phillip Lindsay continues to blossom as one of the premier running backs in the Pac-12 Conference.
One week after winning the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week award with his monstrous 219-yard effort in a win against Arizona State, Lindsay was back at it Saturday in a rugged 10-5 win against Stanford. Despite being hobbled by a nagging left ankle injury that ultimately left him unable to finish the game, Lindsay still provided a spark on a day when the offense never truly got rolling, finishing with 131 rushing yards on just 12 attempts.
That’s a sparkling average of 10.9 yards per carry. Not bad for a guy working with a bum wheel.
“I tweaked it up a little bit,” Lindsay said. “We felt that Kyle (Evans) was going to be able to continue to carry the load, so I didn’t want to go in there and continue to hurt it. We have a lot more games coming.
“Everything is just coming into place. Sefo (Liufau) is putting us in the right positions. It’s big for Sefo to be able to check plays for us. The offensive line is moving people and I’m making plays. I just have to continue to do that.”
At the beginning of the season, few would have predicted the Buffs would walk off a field at Stanford boasting the best running back in the contest. Yet that’s what happened after the CU defense limited Stanford’s preseason Heisman hopeful Christian McCaffrey to a hard-fought 92 yards on 21 carries.
Lindsay inched closer to the coveted 1,000-yard threshold, increasing his season total to 745 rushing yards. Evans capably picked up the slack down the stretch, gaining 60 rushing yards on 14 carries while picking up key yardage on each of the Buffs’ final two possessions.
“Phillip ran good again today,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “Twisted his ankle a little bit, so that’s why you didn’t see much of him in the fourth quarter.”
Next week’s bye comes at an opportune time for Lindsay, given a Thursday night date against UCLA the following week means CU plays just once over the next 20 days. Already on the best sustained run of his career, Lindsay should be at full strength when it comes time to add to his totals.
“The bye week is going to be great for all of us,” Lindsay said. “For me, I’m not going to rest too much anyway. I do a lot of working out anyway. I’m just going to keep chugging along. But we definitely deserve the bye week now to get everybody back.”