theScore runs down the top storylines and developments from Saturday's college football games and what they might mean moving forward.
Mike Leach has officially found his shiny new toy in a Stanford grad transfer. Mississippi State's new coach and passer started their tenures on a historic start Saturday, as K.J. Costello threw for an insane 623 yards in an upset win over defending champion LSU. Not only is that an SEC single-game record, but Costello's total sits as the 11th most passing yards ... IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY.
Costello never topped 45 passing attempts in a game during his career with Stanford, but the California native aired it out 66 times in his first game with Leach. Whether Mississippi State can compete for a top spot in the loaded SEC West remains to be seen, but Costello will absolutely put up huge numbers in the Air Raid system.
On the other side of the ball, LSU became the first defending national champion to lose its opener since Michigan in 1998. The Tigers underwent an incredible amount of roster turnover from last year, perhaps most evident as the defense struggled to slow down Costello. Star cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.'s last-minute absence played a big role, and how the young Tigers adapt without former defensive coordinator Dave Aranda will likely determine how the season goes in Baton Rouge.
Myles Brennan isn't Joe Burrow, but the new starter did an admirable job on Saturday, throwing for 345 yards and three touchdowns versus the Bulldogs. Unfortunately, there wasn't much help from the rushing attack - the Tigers failed to top the 100-yard mark as a team for just the second time in the last 16 games.
Tom Herman brought in former Rutgers head coach Chris Ash to fix the defense after the embattled unit ranked 3rd-last in the Big 12 last year, but the early returns show there's still a long way to go. Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman absolutely shredded Texas for 325 yards and five touchdown passes. The secondary allowed over 10 yards per catch, with three different Red Raiders having at least 70 yards receiving.
The good news for the Longhorns? They somehow managed to escape with a 63-56 overtime win, thanks to some of Sam Ehlinger's late heroics and a recovered onside kick. Oklahoma's dramatic loss to Kansas State also should give the Longhorns a boost of energy, but the defense will need to fix things immediately to keep the team pushing for the Big 12 title. After next week's matchup with TCU, Texas goes up against quarterbacks Spencer Rattler, Charlie Brewer, and likely Spencer Sanders in consecutive games. How they face off against the conference's stronger passing attacks will shape the story on Texas' quest for a conference crown.
The Kyles are alive and well for Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators. Kyle Trask and Kyle Pitts have justified all the preseason hype and then some, putting up some ridiculous stats Saturday in their SEC opener versus Ole Miss. Trask threw for 416 yards and a whopping six touchdowns, while Pitts grabbed eight balls for 170 yards and four scores. The Gators offense did what it wanted when it wanted, hanging 51 points and a conference school-record 642 yards of total offense on Ole Miss. With Dan Mullen calling the shots, expect both Kyles to appear on Heisman watch lists.
The balanced rushing attack on display versus the Rebels was perhaps just as encouraging for the Gators. Florida was near the bottom in SEC rushing last season, which allowed the opposition to shift all focus to the passing attack. Running backs Malik Davis and Dameon Pierce combined for over 100 yards on the ground, and receiver Kadarius Toney added 55 rushing yards. A stable attack makes Florida a very tough out for SEC opponents going forward.
Oklahoma is one of the most successful college football programs in recent memory, owning five straight Big 12 titles and three straight CFP appearances. Despite all that success, the Sooners have the unfortunate habit of suffering some of the most shocking losses in the country.
Saturday was the latest example - the 27.5-point favorite fell 38-35 to unranked Kansas State at home. Once again, electric redshirt freshman Spencer Rattler steered the Sooners to a big lead, but the offense sputtered down the stretch and allowed the Wildcats to rip off 17 unanswered points in the fourth and snatch the victory.
Rattler has all the makings of a star - with eight touchdown passes through two games - but still has kinks to work out as a young quarterback. Three interceptions proved costly, and the Sooners couldn't muster any points over the final 17 minutes.
Wildcats signal caller Skylar Thompson has played for Kansas State since 2017, but Saturday's 334 passing yards marks the first time he's topped the 300-yard mark in his career. The defense will have to turn things around quickly if the Sooners want any chance of righting the ship with a trip to Iowa State and Brock Purdy on deck.
We expected a highly-entertaining Lane Kiffin era at Ole Miss, and the new Rebels head coach didn't disappoint in his debut. The fireworks came early with a double pass resulting in a big gain and a picture-perfect Matt Corral touchdown, showing how Kiffin will implement his offensive genius in Oxford. But it's not just the on-field production making Kiffin famous - the newest turnover item in college football will certainly raise some eyebrows around the SEC.
Florida has exposed the Rebels' defense as a major work-in-progress, but Kiffin immediately had strong results with the ball, piling up 613 yards of total offense. Kiffin may not get a ton of wins in Year 1 with Ole Miss, but his outfit will definitely be one to watch.