Stanford offense clicking heading into Valero Alamo Bowl | News | Palo Alto Online |


Stanford offense clicking heading into Valero Alamo Bowl

Bryce Love needs 47 yards to surpass Christian McCaffrey as Stanford's all-time single-season rushing leader. Photo by David Bernal/

Every time Bryce Love has taken a handoff this season, he has the potential to score. He averages over eight yards a carry, nearly a first down. He enters Thursday's Alamo Bowl (6 p.m., ESPN) against TCU with 1,973 yards, the most by a Power 5 running back and the second-highest output in FBS.

Love led the nation for much of the season until sustaining an injury against Oregon in mid-October, one full game and half of another.

Nick Wilson/Stanford Athletics
Love runs behind an offensive line that has continued the tradition of calling itself "Tunnel Workers Union," a term that originated with grad David DeCastro, now an all-pro offensive lineman with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The O-line has been an important part of Stanford's offense for a long time and this year may have exceeded expectations.

Tight end Dalton Schultz and sophomore offensive guard Nate Herbig earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors, while fifth-year senior guard David Bright was a second-team selection, and senior center Jesse Burkett, senior tackle A.T. Hall and freshman tackle Walker Little were accorded honorable mention.

Sophomore Devery Hamilton, junior Nick Wilson and senior Brandon Fanaika have also been mainstays.

Little, the first true freshman to start at left tackle for Stanford in 17 years, was sidelined by an injury late in the season. He did not permit a sack and was selected Pac-12 Freshman Co-Offensive Player of the Year.

Love won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up. He set a single-season school record with 301 yards on 25 carries in a victory over Arizona State.

Love, the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, needs 47 yards to set a Stanford season rushing mark urrently held by former Heisman runner-up Christian McCaffrey.

Love paced the FBS with 11 100-yard rushing performances and 12 runs of 50 yards or more. Eleven of his 17 rushing touchdowns came from 50-plus yards, and he has posted a 30-yard run in an FBS-record 14-straight contests.

K.J. Costello has made six starts at quarterback, including the last five games, and owns a 4-2 record as a starter.

Costello has thrown for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns with only two interceptions and rushed for 99 yards and three scores.

Wide receivers JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Trent Irwin have been consistent contributors. Arcega-Whiteside has a team-best 43 catches for 720 yards and six touchdowns, while Irwin has 40 receptions for 444 yards and two scores.

Stanford Athletics contributed to this report.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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