K.J. Costello will be held to under 200 yards
Down 24-7 late in the third quarter, Stanford needed someone to step up last week against Oregon. While a defensive fumble recovery by Joey Alfieri resulted in an 80-yard touchdown to spearhead the comeback, the consistent play from K.J. Costello was what gave the Cardinal a chance.
Costello completed 19-of-26 passes for 327 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. It was a clean game and arguably his best this season. The quarterback threw for 332 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in the season opener against San Diego State, but ended with a slightly lower completion percentage.
While Costello has had some impressive numbers that have led to Stanford’s 4-0 record, one team has held him to under 200 yards. From one rival to the next, USC gave Costello the most problems holding him to just 183 yards.
It didn’t end up mattering that Costello’s numbers weren’t that impressive, especially considering USC was only able to put up a field goal the entire game.
That won’t be the situation this week. Notre Dame’s offense has started to find its rhythm after putting up 56 points against Wake Forest.
What’s much more impressive than Notre Dame’s offense is their defense. This is arguably the best defensive unit Brian Kelly has had in South Bend. The front seven is strong enough that they should be able to collapse the pocket quickly. With Costello being more of a pocket style passer, he will have to find ways to quickly get the ball out to JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Kaden Smith.
This will be the biggest test for Costello so far this season and the Cardinal will have to find other ways to move the ball if they hope to be successful.