(Former) Stanford in the NCAA: Costello breaks SEC passing record

Sept. 27, 2020, 8:40 p.m.

Although Pac-12 football won’t return until November, multiple other Power 5 conferences kicked off their football seasons this weekend. In the process, two former Cardinal players suited up for the first time to represent their new schools.

Perhaps the biggest storyline from Saturday’s slate of NCAA games was K.J. Costello ’20 and Mississippi State’s (1-0, 1-0 SEC) record-breaking upset of defending national champion, then-#6, LSU (0-1, 0-1 SEC) at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. 

Costello, who left for Starkville after four years on the Farm, threw for an SEC-record and Tiger Stadium-record 623 yards, completing 36 of 60 passes, with 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in the 44-34 win. The previous SEC single-game passing yardage record of 544 yards was set in 1993 by Georgia’s Eric Zeier. Costello’s 623 yards also marked the first time that LSU had allowed a single passer to throw for more than 500 yards, at home or on the road, in 20 years. He also now sits in 10th overall in the FBS single game passing yardage record books.

Costello’s Stanford career-high passing yards per game was 381, set in 2018 when Utah upset the Cardinal 40-21. The former All-Pac-12 quarterback already seems to be thriving in coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense, raising expectations for the remainder of the Bulldogs season and thrusting himself into early Heisman consideration. Mississippi State was picked to finish sixth out of seven in the SEC West by Sporting News, three spots lower than LSU’s projected final standing.

Devery Hamilton ’20, a grad transfer to Duke (0-3, 0-3 ACC), earned the start at right tackle for the Blue Devils as they faced Virginia (1-0, 1-0 ACC) at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. The Cavaliers defeated Duke 38-20 for the sixth consecutive year on a day when Hamilton’s team turned the ball over seven times, including six times in the final 15 minutes. 

Of the 16 players who entered the transfer portal after Stanford’s 2019 season, only six transferred to schools that have already started the 2020 season.

Contact Sofia Scekic at sscekic ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Sofia Scekic '22 is a former managing editor for the sports section. She is from Wisconsin and is studying Public Policy. An avid Green Bay Packers fan, she has watched nearly every game for the past nine years. Contact her at sscekic 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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