The No. 16 Stanford Cardinal (10-3) were able to get it done against the North Carolina Tar Heels (8-5) yesterday in the Sun Bowl by a score of 25-23. This wouldn’t have been a surprise, but Stanford was not with their starting quarterback Keller Chryst for most of the game or starting running back Christian McCaffrey for all of the game. North Carolina had a healthy roster and should have been able to win this game, but it was the Stanford defense who stole the show. The Cardinal defense led by star defensive lineman Solomon Thomas who made some key plays, especially towards the end of the game. One big play was a sack on the two point conversion that would have put the Tar Heels even with the Cardinal if successful. Thomas’ sack kept the game from going into overtime. Prior to Thomas’ sack, North Carolina was able to get a big 10 play 95 yard drive that led to a touchdown. Safety Dallas Lloyd made some big plays in the secondary, including two interceptions and a forced fumble. One of the interceptions was a big one by the safety as he would run it back, making it the go ahead touchdown for Stanford. With this win for Stanford, they can take confidence into the offseason. They also finished this season on a six game winning streak, taking their record from 4-3 to 10-3. Despite Christian McCaffrey leaving this year, sub running back Bryce Love showed what he could do yesterday putting up 115 yards on 22 carries. He looks like a guy that Stanford can rely on next year. As for North Carolina, they finished this season 8-5 losing 3 out of their last 4 games. Overall, I am kind of surprised this is the way this game turned out. To me, Stanford should take this game as a sign that they can win games without their biggest players.