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The Compulsive Purchase Award

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Yikes. Who’s jersey do we buy?

Stanford v Oregon Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Few purchases rival that of a jersey bought in the light of a beautiful sport’s moment. Allowing the crazed excitement of an incredible play or an unforgettable instant to dictate the acquisition of a players jersey is all part of this thing we call being a sports fan. In the spirit of such a moment, this is the jersey from week one I would buy in the heat of the moment.

The jersey belonging to the player who raised me to my feet the most, elevated my blood pressure consistently and gave me no choice but to invest in his numbers. This is the winner of the Compulsive Purchase Award- week five.

In the opener, the problem was ignored. Against USC, it looked repaired. In overtime on the road to Oregon, it seemed endurable. Notre Dame showed the problem to be catastrophic.

In a 38-17 loss, there is plenty of blame to go around, and plenty will need fixing for the Stanford Cardinal, but none more than the offensive line. No one knows that better than the running back, which is why Bryce Love is this week’s CP Award winner.

Winner - Bryce Love

Stat Line - 73 rushing yards, one touchdown, 4.3 yards per carry

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive line had their best performance of the season against the Cardinal, posting five sacks and nine tackles for loss, along with four quarterback hurries. All night the offensive line was problematic, missing blocking assignments in the running attack, putting the Cardinal behind the sticks with penalties and keeping deep routes from developing by letting up sacks/pressures.

Love has had to deal with these problems all season long, struggling through a line that has not created holes or gotten to the second level.

He has been pushing and shoving uphill for five weeks, leading to some possibly unfair conclusions. Love has had some trouble getting the season off the ground, still looking for the game that jump-starts 2018.

That may not be coming for Love, each week showing the offensive line helping the Cardinal move backward instead of forward.

Panic at the outing is far from an overreaction to one game, as Stanford was overwhelmed by the front of San Diego State, while quarterback K.J. Costello was pestered by UC Davis to the tune of five QB hurries.

“We have to run the ball better, and we have to stop the run, those are pretty straightforward things that we take a lot of pride in. And we didn’t do that tonight,” said head coach David Shaw after the game.

In this game, the battle in the trenches plagued both sides, in the form of ND running back Dexter Williams rushing for 161 yards to cement the problems on both fronts for Stanford.

But the defense was always going to be a lackluster front with a talented back end. A group that has not been able to bring their creative pressure every game.

The offensive line was supposed to be part of an offensive group that carried this team to success, falling flat against a top 10 opponent.

In the name of avoiding total gloom and doom, the single loss does not take Stanford out of PAC-12 contention. But Stanford’s continual ability to shoot themselves in the foot this season seems to be a headache not going away anytime soon.

All that in mind makes anything Love accomplishes behind that line pretty impressive.

Play that sealed the purchase -