Stanford QB K.J. Costello cleared to return at No. 17 UCF, top Cardinal OL out for season

No. 17 UCF will get quarterback Darriel Mack back in time to play Stanford in Week 3. However, the Cardinal are getting their own signal-caller back in time for Saturday’s game. 

In a good news/bad news situation, Stanford coach David Shaw said on Tuesday that K.J. Costello is available after missing last week’s loss to USC with a head injury. Davis Mills started for the Cardinal in the 45-20 loss to the Trojans, throwing for 237 yards, a touchdown and an interception. 

Costello took a brutal hit to the head from Northwestern’s Earnest Brown in Week 1. The hit caused Costello’s head to slam against the turf as he was sliding to give himself up. He was 16-of-20 passing for 152 yards and one touchdown in the first half prior to the injury. Getting Costello back in time for this key early-season nonconference road game is huge for the Cardinal. Costello was named to the second team of the preseason All Pac-12 team by the media. He threw for 3,540 yards and 29 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018. 

However, the Cardinal will be without one tackle, Walker Little, and likely another, Foster Sarell. Little will have season-ending surgery on an apparent leg injury that he also suffered in the Northwestern game. Little was originally scheduled to miss at least six weeks, per Bruce Feldman of the Athletic. Walker was a preseason first-team All America selection by CBS Sports and other publications. The Athletic’s latest 2020 NFL mock draft has Walker as a top-10 selection. 

UCF hasn’t named a starting quarterback yet. Freshman Dillon Gabriel performed well in his debut against Florida Atlantic while Brandon Wimbush was sidelined for undisclosed reasons (coach Josh Heupel only said Wimbush was not “100 percent”). And, of course, Mack is now available for the Knights, too. 

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