It’s probably going to be difficult for Louisville to enter the top 10 in a week filled with mostly easy games for the ranked teams, but Lamar Jackson, the Cardinals quarterback involved in five more touchdown plays in their win over Syracuse, taking his tally up to 13 this season, is surely positioning himself as the favorite to win the Heisman trophy.
It’s only week 2. It’s only been Syracuse (62-28) and Charlotte (70-14). There are still games against Florida State (#3, next week), @ Clemson (#2, October 1) and @ Houston (#6, November 18). Players so far out of the running with their teams to win something usually fall of the radar when it comes to the Heisman watches and tables. However, Jackson is truly doing something special in 2016, as the sophomore has thrown for 7 touchdown passes and rushed for 6, giving the team 697 yards in the air and 318 yards on the ground.
Jackson set a new ACC record for total yards in single game with 610 against Syracuse (411 in the air, 199 on the ground). He set a new Louisville record with 15 rushing touchdowns for a quarterback, playing only 14 games for the program so far. He’s the only power 5 conference quarterback with 3 rushing touchdowns in the first quarter over the last 10 seasons, and is only the second player in FBS history with over 400 passing yards and 150 rushing yards in a game, joining Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois from back in 2012. He needed one more yards for the unprecedented 400-200.
In short, spectacular, and pretty safe to say one of a kind, even if the opposition hasn’t been the most difficult the conference and college football in general has to offer. He’s at 1468 yards and 17 touchdowns in his last three games. Maybe all these amazing numbers stop against the Seminoles, who held him to just 1.7 rushing yards per carry last season. But Jackson is better, and different. Louisville are different, and better than before. It doesn’t promise a win, a title or even a top 25 finish when the season is over, but Jackson is almost guaranteed to make whatever ride they go through incredible exciting.
For now, here are the 13 touchdowns he has scored, either throwing for or rushing for, this season, with 7 in the air and 1 on the ground: