Love Leads Cardinal to Big Game Win
Posted November 19, 2017 by Alforde Joaquin in
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) – Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.
K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.
Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.
The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.
“I’m sure we’ll be scoreboard watching to a certain degree,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “We can’t worry about what happens on somebody else’s field. Either we go to the Pac-12 championship game or we don’t.”
The nation’s leading rusher going into the game, Love sat out the final 11:43 after. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his FBS-record 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.
“Just knowing to read it inside out and take what was there,” Love said of his touchdown.
Scarlett, Love’s primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal’s last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett’s 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.
Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox’s first season.
It wasn’t the best game for Shaw’s team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.
The Cardinal stays at home and will play host to No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.
— #GoStanford —
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