The nation’s leading rusher limped to the bench to get his sprained ankle re-taped early, hobbled over to the sideline a few more times throughout the game, and finally left for good early in the fourth quarter.

There was nothing easy for Stanford or its star player Saturday night in the 120th Big Game, but the results were familiar — a 100-yard rushing game for Bryce Love, and the Axe remaining on The Farm.

Love finished with 101 yards on 14 carries, including a 57-yard touchdown, as the Cardinal beat Cal 17-14 at sold-out Stanford Stadium.

No. 20 Stanford (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) scored its fewest points against the Bears in nine years, but it was enough for an eighth-straight win in the Big Game, setting a record for consecutive wins in the series.

After a 1-2 start, the Cardinal will win the Pac-12 North for the fourth time in six years if Washington beats visiting Washington State on Saturday.

“It has been a roller coaster for sure, ups and downs the whole way,” senior defensive tackle Harrison Phillips said. “But like all roller coasters, I love them. The stomach drop feeling, it’s great.”

After safety Ben Edwards intercepted a pass at the Cal 6, the Cardinal grinded out a 14-play drive without Love to run out the final 7:25 of the game.

Shaw (72-20) stayed undefeated in the Big Game to become the winningest coach in program history, breaking a tie with Pop Warner.