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Bryce Love? Washington Players Think Barkley Might Be Better

on December 27, 2017 12:30 PM


Vita Vea knows a thing or two about stopping running backs.

For one he's a 6-foot-5, 340 pound defensive tackle. So he's always one of the biggest guys on the field. It's not usually even that close. Only Penn State offensive tackle Chasz Wright can best Vea in the weight department at 358 pounds.

And Vita Vea knows a thing or two about playing against good running backs. The past few seasons going toe-to-toe with Stanford runner and Heisman finalist Bryce Love. This season Love put up 166 yards against the Huskies and their No.1 ranked rush defense.

Saquon Barkley? Vea didn't shy away from the praise.

"Saquon, he’s a hell of a back," Vea said on Wednesday. "He can go side to side and create space with just a couple of inches. [Barkley and Love] are both up there, the top tier backs. Obviously Saquon, I think Saquon might be better. It’s a better team than we’ve played all year. So we’ll see when we get out there Saturday how everything works out."

"He's maybe the best back we've seen." Inside linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven added.

On the flip side, Barkley isn't she at all about the size he's coming up against in the trenches. And spending time with Love at the College Football Awards also meant getting the lowdown on how to beat the best rush defense in the land.

"Their “D” linemen are really good," Barkley said. "I’m pretty sure you guys are all aware of Vita Vea and stuff like that. But we approach it watching the game plan and seeing how they attack it and how they attack running backs different.

I talked to Bryce Love out in Atlanta and see how he attacked them. And continue to watch film and get a good feel for them and when it comes to game time you just have to execute."

The magic numbers: In wins the Huskies only give up 87 yards on the ground, and in losses the opposing team has managed at least 117.

And for Barkley? In both of Penn State's loses this season the once Heisman hopeful has averaged just 53 yards a game. 102 in wins.

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