“We definitely don’t want it to be the Lamar Jackson show. So, if he’s able to beat us with his arm, then well, he’s not going to beat us at all. I’ll take that back. He’s not going to beat us. We’re just going to stop anything that he tries to do.” Those were the words of North Carolina starting linebacker Andre Smith after practice on Wednesday. Well, it is time to take those words back Mr. Smith.
Jackson once again led the No. 17 Cardinals to a 47 – 35 win in Chapel Hill. He beat the Tar Heels with his arm, his legs, and anything else you want to throw in. Jackson became the first quarterback in the Power 5 to throw for over 300 yards and rush for more than 100 yards in back-to-back games. Jackson threw for 393 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 132 yards and three more touchdowns.
It is not easy to win the Heisman Trophy twice as only Ohio State’s Archie Griffin is the only player to have done so. Today’s performance puts him at the top of the list early in the season.
There were more stars on the field than Jackson today. Senior running back Malik Williams had his best game of his career with 149 yards rushing on 19 carries. His 74 yard run with 5:06 left in the game helped U of L put the game away. That run was a part of a 6 play 99 yard drive ending with a Jackson 11 yard touchdown run.
Jaylen Smith led the Cardinals with 183 yards and nine receptions and one score. Freshman Dez Fitzpatrick followed up his strong showing against Purdue with four catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
Now comes the showdown against their ACC nemesis Clemson next Saturday in the next biggest game in Louisville’s football history. The defending National Champions roll into Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium fresh off of a big win against No. 13 Auburn. This will once again show whether the Cards can hang with the big dogs.