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 nine 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 nine.
It is incredible the difference that can happen from season to season. Remodel does not do it justice. The Stanford Cardinal have undergone a change of identity over the past two months, turning their run guided team into an air raid offense.
In 2017, the Cardinal averaged 7.2 yards per passing attempt and completed 208 throws. In 2018, they are averaging 8.4, already completing 170 passes. As the passing game has been adopted as the new centerpiece, the desperation for production in the running game has vanished, slipping from 480 attempts and 5.9 yards per attempt to 232 and 3.3.
However, the most drastic change is in the Cardinal scoring, going from 31 touchdowns a year ago to eight scores on the ground, already posting 17 passing touchdowns after throwing for 25 in 2017.
This pass-first look is a new offense, and through the tumult that comes with growing pains, K.J. Costello has turned into the quarterback that can lead Stanford in a new direction.
Winner - K.J. Costello
Stat Line - 323 passing yards, four scores, completed 34-of-43 attempts
The Cardinal fought fire with fire against the Washington State Cougars. Quarterback Costello completed an eye-grabbing 79 percent of his passes, tossing more touchdowns than Gardner Minshew, the owner of the second highest passing yardage in the country.
In the 41-38 loss, Stanford played consistent offense for 60 minutes, answering a high powered offense time and again. It seems that finally, the Cardinal have come to terms with what this team is: a passing team.
Stanford was not terrible running the ball; Bryce Love averaged 11.8 yards per carry, and the team averaged 5.2 yards on 23 carries. But they only ran the ball six times with Love and the 23 attempts, pales in comparison to the 43 passing attempts, a stark contrasts to the 34.3 rushing attempts they averaged in each game in 2017. They not only can succeed without a massive contribution from the ground game, the Cardinal are better without a desperation to put the ball in Love’s chest 18 times every outing.
Out of a tight loss to the Cougars, two things became very apparent: the Cardinal have turned a corner and thank God for Costello.
The Cardinal are a passing team, moving on without a pass rush or run heavy offense but holding onto the quarterback that can lead them via air raid. The loss is by far the fastest start for the Cardinal offense this season, along with their best complete performance and highest score in the regulation. They are embracing the passing attack, which may not be enough to hide their defense from an elite offense, but will champion over lesser talent, keeping them in contention for the top of the PAC-12.