theScore explores the top storylines and developments from Saturday’s college football game and what it means to move forward.
KJ Costello will assign a monster number
Mike Leach has officially found his shiny new toy in a Stanford graduate transfer. State of MississippiThe new coach and feeder began their tenure at Saturday’s historic start, as KJ Costello threw for 623 insane yards in a pissed off win over the reigning champions LSU. Not only was it an SEC single game record, but Costello’s total sits as the 11th most passes … IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY.
Costello never went beyond 45 passing attempts in a game during his career with Stanford, but the Californian made it 66 times in his first game with Leach. Whether the State of Mississippi can compete for the top spot in the loaded West SEC remains to be seen, but Costello will really put up a huge number in the Air Strike system.
Things will be different for this year’s LSU
On the flip side of ball possession, LSU became the first defending national champions to lose an opener since Michigan in 1998. The Tigers have had a remarkable roster turnaround from last year, perhaps most evidently as the defense struggled to slow Costello down. Cornerback star Derek Stingley Jr.His last-minute absence played a big part, and how the young Tigers adapt without former defense coordinator Dave Aranda will likely determine how the season goes in Baton Rouge.
Myles Brennan not Joe Burrow, but the new starter did an amazing job on Saturday, throwing 345 yards and three goals against the Bulldogs. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much help from a rushed attack – the Tigers failed to reach the top 100 yards as a team for the second time in 16 games.
Texas still hasn’t improved its defenses
Tom Herman brought in former Rutgers head coach Chris Ash to improve the defense after the battled unit finished 3rd in last year’s Top 12, but early returns show there is still a long way to go. Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman completely torn Texas for 325 yards and five touchdown passes. Secondary allowed more than 10 yards per catch, with three different Red Raiders having at least 70 receiving yards.
Good news for the Longhorns? Somehow, they got away with a 63-56 win through overtime, thanks to some of it Sam EhlingerLate heroic action and a recovered kick from within. OklahomaA dramatic defeat to Kansas State should also provide the Longhorns with an energy boost, but the defense needs to get things right right away to keep the team pushing for the Top 12 title. Following next week’s battle with TCU, Texas against quarterback Spencer Rattler, Charlie Brewer, and possibly Spencer Sanders in consecutive games. How they deal with attacks through stronger conferences will shape the story of Texas’ quest for the conference crown.
Florida’s Kyle-to-Kyle connection is unstoppable
Kyles is alive and well for Dan Mullen and Florida Crocodile. Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts has confirmed all the pre-season hype and then some, putting up some ridiculous stats Saturday on their SEC opener versus Be Miss. Trask threw for 416 yards and six touchdowns, while Pitts grabbed eight balls for 170 yards and four scores. Offense The Gators did what he wanted when he wanted, hanging 51 points and a conference school record 642 yards from total offense on Miss Ole. With Dan Mullen calling fire, expect both Kyles to appear on the Heisman watchlist.
The balanced rush attack that was displayed against the Rebels was perhaps just as exhilarating for the Gators. Florida was near the bottom of the SEC rush last season, allowing the opposition to shift all focus to passing attacks. Running backwards Malik Davis and Dameon Pierce combined for more than 100 yards on the ground, and a receiver Kadarius Toney added 55 yards running with the ball. The steady attack made Florida extremely difficult for future SEC opponents.
Same old Oklahoma
Oklahoma is one of the most successful college football programs in recent memory, having five consecutive Big 12 titles and three consecutive CFP appearances. Despite all that success, The Sooners have the unfortunate habit of suffering the country’s most shocking losses.
Saturday is the most recent example – the 27.5-point favorite dropped 38-35 to be un ranked Kansas State at home. Once again, the new student in the electric red shirt Spencer Rattler steered the Sooners to a big lead, but the foul was hampered and allowed the Wildcat to snag 17 points missed in the fourth quarter and snatch the win.
Rattler has all the makings of a star – with eight touchdown passes through two games – but still has trouble training as a young midfielder. Three interceptions proved costly, and the Sooners were unable to collect any points for the last 17 minutes.
Wildcats signal callers Skylar Thompson has played for Kansas State since 2017, but the 334 yards passed Saturday marked the first time he had reached the top of the 300 yards in his career. The defense must turn things around quickly if the Sooners are to get a chance to fix the ship with a trip to Iowa State and Brock Purdy on deck.
It won’t be boring with Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss
We’re expecting a very entertaining Lane Kiffin era at Ole Miss, and the new Rebel head coach doesn’t disappoint on his debut. The fireworks arrived early with double passes that made big profits and perfect shots Matt Corral touchdown, showing how Kiffin will apply his offensive genius at Oxford. But it’s not just on-field production that has made Kiffin famous – the newest turnover item in college football is sure to raise eyebrows around the SEC.
Florida had exposed the Rebel defense to be a big job in the process, but Kiffin was soon to have a strong result with the ball, piling up 613 yards of total offense. Kiffin may not have had many wins in Year 1 with Ole Miss, but the outfit is sure to be one to watch out for.
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