By Alex Bhatt
Near noon on Tuesday, Stanford Athletics officially launched BryceLove20.com, a website dedicated to monitoring and promoting the quest for the Heisman Trophy by junior running back and FBS rushing leader Bryce Love.
Similar to the release of WildCaff.com two years ago, No. 22 Stanford Football (5-2, 4-1) hopes to bring home just the second Heisman Trophy in program history, with Jim Plunkett being Stanford’s only winner in 1970.
The website not only delineates Love’s individual game statistics, but also gives fans the opportunity to learn more about Bryce and his interests and notable achievements. Since 2010, Cardinal players such as Toby Gerhart, Andrew Luck and, of course, 2015 runner-up Christian McCaffrey have all acquired national attention, but none have been able to hoist the Heisman in December.
Head coach David Shaw is familiar with the Heisman situation, having coached both McCaffrey and Luck.
“Every time Bryce Love touches the ball, there is a collective pause on our sideline,” Shaw remarked. “And on the other sideline, there is a gasp. You can actually hear that anticipation.”
After a very unpredictable week in Pac-12 play, it seems the only predictable thing was Love’s numbers. In Stanford’s homecoming, Love had 16 carries for 142 yards and two touchdowns just in the first half of the Cardinal’s emphatic 49-7 victory over Oregon. Love only had one carry after the first half, as Coach Shaw decided to let Trevor Speights and Cameron Scarlett shared carries for the rest of the game.
“[Love] got a little banged up. There was no reason for us to put him back in,” Shaw said.
Nevertheless, Bryce Love continues to lead the nation with 1387 rushing yards and holds the longest active FBS streak for 100-yard games at nine.
This season alone, Love has broken numerous program records including most rushing yards in a single game (301 yards vs. Arizona State) and fastest running back to gain 1000 yards (5 games, 87 carries). Love was also named midseason AP All-American First Team on Tuesday, averaging over ten yards per carry on the season.
Love currently is neck-and-neck with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley in preliminary Heisman voting. Though Love holds nearly a three-hundred-yard lead in yards rushing, Barkley averages 217 all-purpose yards/game, a number mimicking Christian McCaffrey’s historic 2015 season. While the Card have the week off before road trips up to Oregon State and No. 15 Washington State, Barkley and the Nittany Lions come off a bye this week and look forward to important Big-10 games with No. 6 Ohio State and No. 19 Michigan in the next two weeks.
Looking deeper into the season, Love will have to face No. 12 Washington’s second-ranked defense as well as yet another ranked opponent in No. 16 Notre Dame, so it is safe to say that the Heisman debate between Love and Barkley will only intensify.
To track Bryce Love’s unconventional season and to learn more about the Stanford running back, visit BryceLove20.com. Love and the Cardinal’s next game will be a conference away game against Oregon State on Oct. 26.
Contact Alex Bhatt at abhatt21 ‘at’ stanford.edu.