Stanford to start K.J. Costello over Keller Chryst at QB

Stanford is making a switch at quarterback.

The Cardinal, which debuted at No. 21 in the College Football Playoff rankings, will turn to redshirt freshman K.J. Costello for its game Saturday at No. 25 Washington State, coach David Shaw announced Thursday.

Costello will replace junior Keller Chryst, who has started 13 of the past 14 games dating to October 2016 when he supplanted Ryan Burns after seven games.

Without running back and Heisman Trophy candidate Bryce Love available last week at Oregon State, the Cardinal managed only 15 points with Chryst running the offense. He completed only 16 of 33 passes for 141 yards against a defense that came in giving up a conference-worst 43.7 points per game. He did, however, throw the winning touchdown pass with 20 seconds left.

In the five games that he has attempted a pass, Costello is 43 of 67 for 492 yards with four touchdown and no interceptions. In his lone start of the season, which came as a result of an injury to Chryst, Costello completed 15 of 24 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown in a 34-24 win at home against Arizona State. In that game, Love ran for 301 yards and three scores.

The game at WSU is an important one in the Pac-12 North standings. If the Cardinal (6-2, 5-1 Pac-12) win, they would be able to clinch the division title next Friday at home against Washington.

Shaw's decision to switch quarterbacks midseason marks the third time he has done so in the past six years.

Love's status for Saturday's game is unclear, however, he was considered a game-time decision last week and is widely expected to play.

"We'll see how Bryce is feeling," Shaw said Thursday. "Probably give him one more test tomorrow. If he passes that, then hopefully he'll be up."

Love has practiced with the team this week.