CRAWFORD | At the buzzer: Lamar Jackson leaps into record books - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | At the buzzer: Lamar Jackson leaps into record books again in 62-28 win over Syracuse

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AP photo. AP photo.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WDRB) -- Lamar Jackson threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to James Quick on Louisville’s first play of the game. He threw a 61-yard pass to Jaylen Smith on the Cardinals’ third play of the game, ran for a 7-yard TD on their fourth and sprinted 72 yards for a touchdown on the fifth.

And that was just the opening act. He later would jump over a defender on a TD run. He would become the first quarterback in FBS history to run for more than 175 yards and throw for more than 400 in a game. He’d have thrown for more if Louisville receivers hadn’t dropped so many passes.

Louisville won the game 62-28. It was a sloppy effort for long stretches. Penalties cost the Cards. They turned it over three times. They allowed a scrappy Syracuse team to hang around until early in the fourth quarter, and to the credit of the Orange, they did. They played fast and hard throughout. They made a good Louisville defense look lost on occasion. They made a game of it.

All that is well and good. All anyone is going to remember is Lamar Jackson.

Good gracious, the guy couldn’t be stopped. He finished the game with 199 rushing yards on 21 carries and 4 rushing touchdowns. He threw for 411 yards on 21 of 39 passing with a touchdown and an interception.

And if nothing else, he made next week’s noon Saturday game against No. 3-ranked Florida State must-see television, though if the Cardinals aren’t a lot cleaner in a lot of aspects, they’re not going to come a whole lot closer to FSU than they have in their past two losses. Whether ESPN’s College GameDay comes or not, the eyes of college football will be on Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium a week from Saturday.

A look at the stars:

1). GOT THE JOB DONE: Let’s see, what else can I say about Jackson? He’s brought to you by EA Sports. After leading the Cards to 28 first-quarter points, he had potentially a couple more TD passes dropped in the second quarter, when the offense seemed to bog down a bit (or at least as much as an offense can bog down that winds up with a school-record 845 yards). Jackson never appeared to get frustrated -- or rattled. If nothing else, Syracuse’s scoring kept him in the game longer. And kept the pinball machine numbers going.

It also stirred the national speculation on Jackson to fever pitch before halftime. Brett McMurphy, after Jackson jumped over Syracuse’s Cordell Hudson in the second quarter, Tweeted simply, “Heisman. Moment.”

Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports Tweeted, “Lamar Jackson is illegal.”

1A). ALSO GOT THE JOB DONE: Let’s give a major shout-out to running back Brandon Radcliff. He carried 9 times for 155 yards and a touchdown. The Louisville run game ground out 413 yards on 40 carries.

2). DIDN’T GET THE JOB DONE: Louisville receivers, at times. And that’s not a knock on the wide receiver position. Balls were dropped by tight ends and running backs. It also wasn’t a great night for the Louisville defense, though the group did hold Syracuse to only seven points in the second half -- and let’s acknowledge how difficult it is to defend an offense that runs as many plays as Syracuse runs. Especially in the first half, Louisville’s quick scoring strikes meant its defense was on the field quite a bit -- 58 plays for the Orange. Still, penalties, especially on third down, were a problem.

3). TURNING POINT: When Lamar Jackson signed with Louisville.

4). SURPRISE, SURPRISE: After all the pregame talk about first-down markers and whether they had to be set before Syracuse could snap the ball, Louisville had 21 points before a first down ever came into play for Syracuse. So much pregame ink (or bandwidth, or airtime) wasted.

5). PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Jackson. Of course. Radcliff. Absolutely. Also an outstanding performance by Jaire Alexander, who came away with an interception and was great all night in the Louisville secondary. Also, Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey is really talented. He got it done with his arm and legs. But he was outgunned in the end.

6). STAT OF THE DAY: Louisville racked up 845 yards of offense. A school record. A new Atlantic Coast Conference record And Lamar Jackson finished just a single yard short of becoming the first player ever to throw for 400 yards and run for 200 in a single game. He actually had 200-plus, then lost it when he was sacked.

7). WHAT WE LEARNED: Lamar Jackson can leap medium-sized defensive backs in a single bound. And he further put the notion to bed that he’s a run-only threat. He threw for 411, and could’ve had 100 more if passes hadn’t been dropped. Also, the Bobby Petrino play-calling was at its surgical best on Friday night.

8). NOW WHAT? Louisville gets Florida State. Will ESPN’s GameDay come to Louisville? It ought to. This will be one of the most anticipated matchups of young quarterbacks in the nation. The noon kickoff shouldn’t disqualify it.

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