Stanford’s Bryce Love and Cameron Scarlett handled the Running Back position just fine down under in Sydney, Australia.
Rice was not a quality opponent, but either way the Stanford backs ran through the Owl defense like a knife through butter.
Christian McCaffrey was a great player at Stanford and maybe their best ever. Controversially, he skipped the Cardinal bowl game last season, as LSU’s Leonard Fournette also did. They both declared early for the NFL and unlike so many players that do that now, it wasn’t even a mistake. Both of them went very early in the draft.
But, they started a new trend that can only be bad for the future of college football and bowl season. Who can blame the players when playing in a bowl game is chancing an injury that can hurt their draft status. Ask Michigan’s great Tight Jake Butt what can happen when he was injured while
Michigan was playing Florida State in this year’s Orange Bowl. Butt tore up his knee with the game in it’s closing moments. He was drafted much later than expected.
Last year, Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith was injured in the Fiesta Bowl and he had been expected to be selected in the 1st round. He was still taken in the 2nd, but it could have turned out much worse. There’s too much money at stake in today’s modern game to
The thought by many was that the Stanford Cardinal would be a little down this season because of the loss of McCaffrey.
But, they may have never seen Bryce Love, and Cameron Scarlett, too, for that matter.
The 5-10, 195 junior, Bryce Love, ran for a very McCaffrey like 180 yards on only 13 carries and a Touchdown as the Stanford Cardinal crushed the Rice Owls, 62-7. Averaging 13. 85 yards per carry, Bryce Love showed some spectacular speed and moves as Stanford started it’s post McCaffrey era in style.
Cameron Scarlett beat up the Owl defense with 59 yards on 8 carries and 3 Touchdowns and he looked really impressive on one Touchdown run.
Three total Quarterbacks played led by starter Keller Chryst who threw for 253 yards on 14 completions and two scores. Backup Ryan Burns got some playing time and completed 2 out of 4 passes for 36 yards and a Touchdown.
But, also sophomore KJ Costello was able to complete 5 passes out of 9 attempts which resulted in 80 passing yards. Costello also had a 25 yard Touchdown run.
The Stanford Offensive Line has apparently become a really solid unit led by seniors Left Tackle David Bright, Center Jesse Burkett and Right Guard Brandon Fanaika. Joined by talented sophomores in Right Tackle Devery Hamilton and Left Guard Nate ‘Big Island’ Herbig and the
Cardinal have developed a really good Offensive Line. They were blowing Rice off the ball in Australia and the great news for Stanford is the great young talent they have coming in.
The defense, led by Linebackers Peter Kalambayi and Sean Barton, plus Defensive Lineman Harrison Phillips swarmed all over the hapless Owls holding them to a single score and 240 yards. Defensive Lineman Soloman Thomas did not get the press clippings of Christian McCaffrey, but he meant as much to the defense as McCaffrey did to the offense and special teams. Thomas even went earlier in the draft than McCaffrey.
It may not have been a true test because the Rice Owls are not a strong team, but the Cardinal did pass with flying colors.
They look like they might be a serious challenge to Pac 12 frontrunners USC and Washington.
Watch out for Bryce Love in 2017.