According to Bruce Feldman, Notre Dame will be facing NCAA leading rusher Bryce Love this evening when the Irish attempt to win their 10th game of the season against the Stanford Cardinal.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 25, 2017
Love leads the NCAA with 172.8 yards per game this year and ran for 129 yards on 23 carries while scoring the game’s winning touchdown. Like Josh Adams, Love has slowed down the last three weeks after a torrid start as he has nursed a balky ankle. Two weeks ago Love racked up 166 yards but needed 30 carries to do it. On the season Love has averaged 8.8 yards per carry. Like Adams though, that average has fallen off in recent weeks.
In games that Love has started and finished, he has only been held under 100 yards one time – three weeks ago in Stanford’s loss to Washington State. The Cougars limited Love to 69 yards on 16 carries but couldn’t keep him out of the endzone. Love has at least one touchdown in every game he has played in this year and 16 on the season.
Notre Dame’s run defense has been trending down as well the last few weeks so tonight’s game could be decided by which unit reverses their recent course the most. Notre Dame has allowed more than 230 yards on the ground each of the last three weeks after being stout against the run all season. Last week the Irish held Navy well below their season average but still surrendered 277 yards in the process.