Yes, it is true. We all saw it coming. K.J. Costello is the answer to Stanford’s offensive woes. Costello went 13/19, throwing for 123 yards and three touchdowns.
Bryce Love also had an amazing game. After being limited to just 13 carries last week, Love had 30 carries for a touchdown and 263 yards, nearly breaking Christian McCaffrey’s single game rushing yard record (284).
Stanford’s defense also helped secure the victory by forcing four turnovers.
Playing at home for the first time all season, Stanford looked to get back on track against the UCLA Bruins. Both teams needed this win badly as both were coming off losses last week. However, it was Stanford who came out on top, improving to 2-2 on the season and beating UCLA for the 10th consecutive time.
Stanford started off the game looking sluggish offensively. To make matters worse, starting quarterback Keller Chryst exited the game due to a head injury after being decked by two Bruins defenders on a quarterback run. Chryst would not return for the rest of the game. With backup quarterback Ryan Burns unable to move the ball down the field, the redshirt freshman K.J. Costello took over. Playing just his second career game and with only nine passes under his belt, Costello came into the game looking nervous and rusty. As the game progressed, however, Costello looked like he could be Stanford’s quarterback of the future.
With the offense looking unreliable, Stanford’s defense had to do all they could to keep the Bruin’s elite quarterback Josh Rosen from racking up points. Stanford’s pass rush did a great job making Rosen uncomfortable, but Rosen was still able to find the endzone in the second quarter. After the touchdown, Rosen and the Bruins once again drove down the field, but Stanford’s defense kept them out of the end zone. Stanford then blocked UCLA’s field goal, causing the momentum to shift to Stanford.
After the blocked field goal, everything seemed to finally click on both sides of the ball. Stanford’s defense forced turnovers while Costello, with the help of big runs from Bryce Love, was able to drive down the field, scoring 17 straight points and giving Stanford a 23-13 lead at halftime.
Coming back onto the field in the second half, the Bruins came back with a touchdown of their own. However, Stanford and Costello were able to quickly give an answer to UCLA. After a 43 yard run by Connor Wedington, Costello threw an impressive 15 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Trent Irwin. Then after Stanford’s defense forced a fumble, Costello and Love were able to drive the ball down the field. Backup running back Cameron Scarlett was able to score a touchdown by punching it in at the goal line.
While things were looking up for Stanford, not everything was going its way. Both of Stanford’s starting cornerbacks were forced to leave the game: Alijah Holder due to a questionable targeting call and Quenton Meeks due to an injury. At the end of the third quarter, Stanford was only up 37-27 after Rosen was able to take advantage of Stanford’s weakened secondary, scoring a 39 yard touchdown pass.
After another Stanford touchdown, this time to tight end Dalton Schultz, Rosen and Bruins were threatening another massive comeback like they had done earlier in the year when they came back from a 34-point deficit against Texas A&M. Even against Stanford’s defense, Rosen was able to drive the ball 75 yards down the field and score in under two minutes. However, any hope of a UCLA comeback quickly vanished as Bryce Love scored on a 69-yard touchdown on Stanford’s next possession to seal the game for the Cardinal. Stanford defeated UCLA 58-34.
Stanford will look to continue their winning ways next Saturday against Arizona State University.