Jackson’s historic night leads Louisville to win over Syracuse
By Michael Tricarico Syracuse, N.Y. – It’s hard to imagine or remember a better performance for an opposing player inside the Carrier Dome. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson came up one rushing yard short of becoming the first player in FBS history to throw for at least 400 yards and pick up 200 rushing yards in a single game as the Cardinals beat the Orange, 62-28, on Friday night.
Louisville won the opening coin toss and elected to receive the first kickoff of the game. After a return brought the ball to the Cardinals’ own 28-yard line, Jackson led the Louisville offense to the field. The Carrier Dome crowd rose to their feet to amplify the noise, trying to disrupt the Louisville offense. 16 seconds later almost all of the more than 32,000 fans in the Dome returned to their seats as Jackson connected through the air with receiver James Quick for a 72-yard touchdown strike. That touchdown set the tone for what would be a long night for the SU defense.
The Cardinals scored on three of their first five plays from scrimmage to take a 21-0 lead in just four minutes and 31 seconds. Despite the nightmarish start for the Orange, Syracuse kept the deficit within three scores for a majority of the game. In fact, SU had opportunities to cut Louisville’s lead to seven.
Syracuse had the ball three times in the second half with a chance to cut the Louisville advantage to one possession, but the Orange was held scoreless each time. The Syracuse offense managed a mere seven points in the second half, while the Louisville offense continued to find its stride into the fourth quarter.
Jackson accounted for more than 600 yards of total offense by himself en route to a passing touchdown and four rushing scores. The sophomore became the first player in FBS history with at least 400 passing yards and 175 rushing yards in the same game. In just two games, Jackson has now accounted for 13 total touchdowns this season.
For Syracuse, the Orange did collect 426 yards of total offense. Orange wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo had another solid performance with eight catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Syracuse forced three Louisville turnovers in the game, which is certainly a positive the Orange hopes will translate into future weeks.
Syracuse continues its opening home stretch next week when South Florida comes to Central New York. The Bulls beat the Orange last season down in Florida, so USF certainly isn’t an opponent Syracuse can overlook. One more positive for Syracuse is that Lamar Jackson won’t be the opposing quarterback at any point again this season. A fact that probably has Syracuse fans breathing a big sigh of relief.