September 23, 2017
Louisville didn’t need much from star quarterback Lamar Jackson as the 19th-ranked Cardinals cruised to a 42-3 blowout victory over Kent State on Saturday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville.
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner exited the blowout after three quarters with 333 total yards (299 passing and 34 rushing) with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He was efficient through the air, completing 18 of 22 attempts to help the Cards pull away.
His third TD of the afternoon, a 15-yard hookup with Javonte Bagley in the third quarter, broke a Cardinals record for total touchdowns.
Louisville Football relayed word of the accomplishment:
Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton provided his assessment of the aerial attack:
Jackson recorded two turnovers before accounting for his first touchdown of the day, though.
Kent State defensive back Demetrius Monday intercepted a Jackson pass with just over nine minutes remaining in the second quarter. Then, on the Cardinals’ next offensive drive, the quarterback fumbled on a first-down run, and it was recovered by the Golden Flashes’ Elvis Hines.
Louisville had still managed to build a 21-3 lead despite the mistakes. Malik Williams scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, and Trumaine Washington returned an interception for a defensive score.
ESPN Stats & Info noted the rare production without Jackson’s involvement:
The 20-year-old Florida native ended the minor scoring drought with a 13-yard TD run with just over two minutes remaining in the first half.
Fox Sports South highlighted the QB draw for six:
Jackson picked up his first passing touchdown of the day midway through the third quarter after leading a seven-play, 77-yard drive. He found Seth Dawkins open over the middle, and the sophomore wide receiver took care of the rest on a 32-yard catch-and-run.
Dawkins’ moves inside the 10 were particularly impressive, as Fox Sports South showcased:
Louisville decided to take its most important player out after breaking the school TD record to guard against injury.
Ultimately, it wasn’t the cleanest performance of Jackson’s career. Three turnovers against an MAC opponent isn’t going to help his cause in terms of trying to hunt down a second straight Heisman. But there were still a couple of moments of brilliance mixed in.
Louisville didn’t need him to play like Superman either. The Cardinals wouldn’t mind if he saves his best outings for tougher games on the horizon against N.C. State (Oct. 5) and Florida State (Oct. 21).
Next up is what should be another lopsided contest at home against Murray State next Saturday.
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