Neither wind, snow, or freezing cold temperatures would stop Bryce Love from returning to the lineup as No. 21 Stanford looked to seize control of the Pac-12 North on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately for the Cardinal, the tailback’s return wasn’t enough to help the team hold onto a first half lead as they end up trailing No. 25 Washington State 14-7 going into the break on a chilly day on the Palouse.
Love returned from an ankle injury and looked like he didn’t miss a beat, ripping off a 52 yard touchdown run in the second quarter — his 10th run of at least 50 yards this year — by breaking at least four tackles along the way. He finished the half with 65 yards on the ground and was the team’s lone source of offense with quarterback K.J. Costello making the start for the Cardinal and struggling to pass the ball (4/9, 53 yards).
Washington State answered that long touchdown right away with one of their own. Quarterback Luke Falk, a week after being benched in a loss to Arizona, returned to form for Senior Day and dinked and dunked down the field until finding Tavares Martin Jr. in the back of the end zone for the Cougars’ first score. Later on, the quarterback set the Pac-12 career record for passing yards (13,607 and counting) and added another touchdown throw to Renard Bell to take the lead for the first time on the day.
There’s a lot of strange football being played today — including this game being televised on Fox Business Network — so the second half should be quite interesting given how both top 25 teams are playing at the moment in some very fun late season conditions.