The Stanford Cardinal have always had capable running backs who know how to run behind their stacked offensive lines. The two best examples are Toby Gerhart (the first big running back of this era who was a Heisman runner-up) and Christian McCaffrey (the premier multi-tooled running back).
Bryce Love doesn’t quite fit the model of a Stanford running back, but given starter snaps and a year to adjust to that role, Love has to feel pretty confident the Cardinal can go ahead and roll through the conference. Love registered a 134.1 elusive rating in limited snaps according to Pro Football Focus (well ahead of McCaffrey’s 73.8), and his breakaway % for long runs was at 56.6%, highest in the conference.
Bryce Love will look to keep his 2016 pace as he takes over for first round pick Christian McCaffrey at Stanford. pic.twitter.com/1nXKDgBs1q— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) July 2, 2017
McCaffrey didn’t prove to be quite as elusive or as breakaway on an every-down basis, but he was plenty consistent and tended to generate yards when he was on the field. Love is more boom or bust at this point. If he finds the same consistency he has all the capability to surpass McCaffrey in due time.