CRAWFORD | Jackson's (likely) last Louisville home game a perfect storm for Syracuse
Lamar Jackson threw for a pair of touchdowns and passed for two more as Louisville dominated Syracuse in a rainy Saturday rout, 56-10.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The only thing that could stop Lamar Jackson was a stray bolt of lightning.
Syracuse got a reprieve when Saturday’s game against the University of Louisville in Papa John‘s Cardinal Stadium was stopped for a 43-minute weather delay with the Cardinals leading 21-3 early in the second quarter.
When play resumed, Jackson continued to rain destruction on the Orange. His Heisman run began in earnest when he passed for 411 yards and a TD and ran for 199 and four more scores a year ago. On Saturday, Jackson played less than three quarters, but was just as lethal – running for 111 yards and two touchdowns and passing for 270 yards and two more TDs in a 56-10 victory.
"It didn't seem like the weather bothered him much," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. "Maybe one slant. But he stood in there and threw it well, and really ran it well."
If it was his last appearance in the stadium, it was a fitting end. Jackson logged his 25th career game of 300 or more yards, and he boosted his school-record total for rushing touchdowns to 49.
But he wasn’t the only one to have a big day on the ground, even as wind and rain dominated the skies, with the driving storm that struck in the first quarter lingering throughout the rest of the game. On a day when the heavens poured, Louisville poured 727 yards of total offense on the Orange.
As anyone familiar with this stadium’s history will tell you, monsoon-type conditions usually mean bad news for visitors.
Saturday was no different. Louisville rushed for 411 yards as a team, led by Malik Williams, who carried nine times for 180 yards and two touchdowns one a 46-yard run and the other from 56 yards. He also had a 54-yard score that didn't go for a score.
"He came back as quickly as he did from that elbow injury just because he wanted to," Williams said. "He saw the holes, ran it hard. I always kid him when he gets caught from behind, but he didn't get caught the next time."
Juwon Pass, who came on as quarterback in the fourth quarter, got his second career touchdown pass and completed 3 of 4 passes for 46 yards.
It was also a big Senior Day for Louisville native Reggie Bonnafon, who had one touchdown and 43 yards rushing and one touchdown and 34 yards receiving.
"I was really happy for Reggie," Petrino said. "He has done a lot for this program. He's been the ultimate team player, and you can't say enough about him."
After both touchdowns, the rain-soaked remnants of an already dampened crowd announced at 34,265, chanted, "Reggie, Reggie."
"That's a dream come true to hear that," Bonnafon said. "I probably haven't heard that since my freshman year, when I played quarterback. I love these fans and I've loved playing for them. . . . I wouldn't have been able to write a better ending to (Senior Day). After warm up, it hit me a little bit, all the adversity, my dad passing my freshman year, just everything. . . . And when the ball kicked off, I just worried about having fun."
Louisville improved to 7-4, and will wrap up its regular season next Saturday at noon against rival Kentucky.
Defensively, Louisville was strong for a second straight week, holding Syracuse to 4.2 yards per play. The Cardinals had six tackles for loss and four interceptions.
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