Stanford presents a threat with the jump ball
No one questions the blueprint to beating Stanford. Stop the run, get the ball away from former Heisman nominee Bryce Young, and force the Cardinal to throw downfield.
San Diego State did just that to Stanford in its season opener. The Aztecs travelled to Palo Alto, Calif. and slowed Love to a halt. The senior tailback had only 29 yards rushing, after having more than 2100 the season before. This forced youngster KJ Costello to use his arm.
Costello went 21 of 31 for 332 yards and 4 touchdowns (against 1 interception) in a 31-10 win. That's why the Cardinal are a top 10 team. Everyone knows they can run the football. In the first game, they showed they could air it out as well.
Costello mostly targeted JJ Arcega-Whiteside, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior receiver from Inman, S.C. Arcega-Whiteside’s height helps make him a specialist at hauling in footballs at its highest point, something the USC coaching staff is preparing for.
That being said, sometimes its just hard to measure up. USC’s top four corners are listed at 5-foot-11, 6-foot-0, 6-foot-0 and 6-foot-1.
Helton hopes that part of Stanford’s offense can be contained.
“They’re as good a jump ball team as there is out there,” Helton said directly after Tuesday’s practice. “I know they practice it a bunch. You know when you get inside the ten yard line, a fade is coming. Being able to watch against San Diego State, there was one time it looked like a basketball post up. It looked like a power forward went up and made the play. They all have great high ball skills. David (Shaw) has always recruited length and height at those positions. And I give credit to KJ (Costello). You don’t see him overthrow too many wide receivers. He gives his kids chances.”