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Stanford tailback Bryce Love is already over 1,000 yards rushing this season. It’s September.

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Trying to figure out who the best tailback in the country is seems like an easy task, right? After all, new Heisman favorite Saquon Barkley returned a kickoff for a touchdown and threw for another in a rout of Indiana. Plus there is San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny, LSU’s Derrius Guice and nearly a dozen others who may have their own claim to the crown after Saturday wraps up too.

None, however, are holding a candle to Stanford’s Bryce Love when it comes to stats.

The Cardinal’s star running back set a new school record on Saturday by rushing for 301 yards on the ground in a rather effortless 34-24 win over Arizona State on the Farm. That mark included three touchdown runs of over 40 yards to boot. The Sun Devils aren’t exactly a stout defensive team but they looked like an FCS squad trying to tackle Love at times.

The crazy thing though? September is not even over and yet Love has crossed the 1,000 yard mark on the season and leads FBS in rushing by a huge margin. In fact, Pac-12 Networks noted that his 1,088 rushing yards — on just 98 carries —  is the most through five games in the last 20 (!!) seasons.

Christian McCaffrey who?

Heck, Love’s worst game this year was in that blowout loss to USC and he still managed 160 yards on 17 carries (that’s 9.4 per touch for the non-math majors). There are still seven regular season games left on Stanford’s schedule so it’ safe to say that topping the 2,000 yard barrier remains a possibility for the tailback by the time December rolls around.

Yes the Cardinal already have two losses on their record but that certainly won’t prevent Love from running his way to New York City as a Heisman finalist if he’s able to keep things up after a remarkable start to 2017 in the backfield.

VIDEO: Blind USC long snapper Jake Olson can play quarterback, too

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Jake Olson became one of the stories of the 2017 season on the opening Saturday, when he entered USC’s opener to serve as a deep snapper for an extra point in the waning moments of a win over Western Michigan.

Which would not otherwise be a story except for the fact that Olson is legally blind.

Olson’s athletic ability extends far beyond his ability to accurately snap a football, as he showcased last month.

With Sam Darnold now off to the NFL, Olson has thrown his name in the ring of those vying to become USC’s next quarterback.

After displaying his ability to snap and throw the football, his next step needs to be to kick the pigskin.

Clemson QB Tucker Israel enters his name in graduate transfer market

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Tucker Israel has yet to see significant action during his time at Clemson. With Kelly Bryant coming back and No. 1 quarterback recruit Trevor Lawrence joining the roster, that wasn’t likely to change.

So Israel (the non-Deshaun Watson player pictured above) is leaving.

“My time here at Clemson will always hold a special plate in my heart,” Israel said in a Twitter post released by the school. “I enjoyed every minute being here & thank Coach Swinney for believing in me. After much consideration, I plan on transferring upon getting my degree from this amazing university.”

A former 3-star recruit, Israel redshirted in 2015, threw four passes in 2016 and did not play in 2017. The Orlando, Fla., native will have two years of eligibility remaining upon arriving at his new destination.

Shane Beamer reportedly leaving Georgia for Oklahoma

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After you beat them, join them? Georgia special teams coordinator Shane Beamer is on his way to Oklahoma to become an offensive assistant coach at Oklahoma, according to multiple reports on Monday.

At Georgia, Beamer held the role of special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. At Oklahoma, it is reported Beamer will take on an assistant head coach title and assist head coach Lincoln Riley in preparing the offensive game plan for the Sooners. Beamer was with the Georgia staff for two years under Kirby Smart after leaving Virginia Tech to join the coaching staff in Athens.

Beamer is the son of former Virgina Tech head coach Frank Beamer. Georgia defeated Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, which was a semifinal game for the College Football Playoff last season.

There is no update on how Smart will replace Beamer on his coaching staff at this time, but Dawg Nation notes Georgia has already lost special teams advisor Scott Fountain to join the coaching staff at Mississippi State.

 

Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, Saquon Barkley among Lombardi Award finalists

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The list of Lombardi Award candidates has been whittled down to a list of seven select finalists for this year’s award. A week after a list of 21 candidates was unveiled, only seven remain after a panel of voters cast their initial ballots for the award.

2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, Heisman Trophy runner-up Bryce Love of Stanford, and 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville highlight the list of finalists for the Lombardi Award. Other finalists include Saquon Barkley of Penn State, Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama, Shaquen Griffin of UCF and Joel Lanning of Iowa State.

The Lombardi Award has a new trophy and criteria this season after opening the award up to any position after previously being reserved for the top lineman or linebacker in the nation. The award is based on performance, leadership, character and resiliency on and off the field.

Lombardi Award Finalists for 2017 Season

  • Saquon Barkley, Penn State (RB)
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama (S)
  • Shaquem Griffin, UCF (LB)
  • Lamar Jackson, Louisville (QB)
  • Joel Lanning, Iowa State (LB/QB)
  • Bryce Love, Stanford (RB)
  • Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (QB)

Alabama’s Jonathan Allen won the award for the 2016 season. Carl Nassib of Penn State won the award in 2015, meaning Barkley and Fitzpatrick are attempting to win another Lombardi Award for their school. Oklahoma is the only other school with a Lombardi Award among the schools represented by the finalists for this season’s award. Iowa State, Louisville, Stanford and UCF are all looking for their first Lombardi Award winner in school history. Oklahoma has three all-time Lombardi Award winners, and Alabama and Penn State each have two.