When his receivers weren’t dropping passes in their hands, Lamar Jackson was throwing the ball everywhere else in the University of Louisville’s 20-13 win at North Carolina State.
Still with much to learn, the freshman quarterback could complete only 10 of 27 passing attempts. At one point, Jackson receiving a tongue-lashing from Bobby Petrino for hurrying a pass to the feet of a wide open receiver in the first half.
Petrino may want to consider a different motivational approach with Jackson, managing to connect on only two of 10 passes in the second half. The most positive aspect of his passing game was that didn’t throw any interceptions.
Jackson would more than make up for his passing deficiences, however, running for 121 yards. That 68-yard run for a touchdown in the first half set the tone, serving notice to NC State that UofL was not your average 1-3 team. He raised his total rushing yards to 416 yards for season, setting an all-time record for UofL quarterbacks. He’s third on the all-time quarterback rushing list with five touchdowns.
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So many candidates for the highlight of the game with lots of crucial plays.
— If NC State’s Jumichael Ramos had scored on that 48-yard pass play early in the first quarter, this game was off to a near-disastrous start. But Tremaine Washington, who rode Ramos’ back for a good 10 yards, wasn’t giving up, forcing a fumble on the four-yard line.
— Reggie Bonnafon directing a six-minute drive late in the game, bursting through the middle for 12 yards and a crucial first down in a third-and-nine situation.
— James Burgess putting the hurt on Michael Deyes on that fourth-and-one play, sealing the victory. Visions of a last second nightmare looming until that stop.
— Lamar Jackson breaking down the NC State defense for that 68-yard touchdown against a rugged defense that had been prepping for him all week. When he tweaks his passing game, gets his entire act together, Jackson is going to be a challenge for any opposing team.
”I had to do whatever to get my team to win,” he said after the game. ”That’s all I’ve been doing.”