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Jackson & Louisville Strides Ahead of Syracuse

Posted on September 9, 2016 at 10:25 PM

  Article by Dan Tortora

  There was no offensive fatigue coming off of a 70-14 performance by the Louisville Cardinals in their debut against the Charlotte 49ers.

  In that game, Louisville starting quarterback Lamar Jackson had eight touchdowns (six passing, two rushing) in the first half alone.

  His second act, which came against Syracuse, began with a touchdown in the first 16 seconds of the game on Louisville's first play of the game, when Jackson found wide receiver James Quick down the middle of the field for a 72-yard pass play that made it 7-0 Cardinals.


  Louisville would follow by scoring on their next possession, which ended at the 12:13 mark in the first quarter when Jackson carried the ball himself into the end zone from seven yards away, following another deep ball, this one a connection with wide receiver Jaylen Smith on a 62-yard pass play over the middle. 

  With two touchdowns by the 12:!3 mark, the Cardinals had put 14 points on the board and allowed nothing in less than three minutes to open the game. scored two touchdowns in less than three minutes to open the game 14-0.


  On their third drive of the game, Louisville kept it perfect, with Jackson faking and rolling out right, out-running the Syracuse defense to a 72-yard TD.

  With three touchdowns at the 10:17 mark, the Cardinals had scored three touchdowns on five plays among three drives combined in less than five minutes, en route to a 21-0 advantage.


  Syracuse in the meantime went three-and-out on their first two drives.

  But on their third drive, wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo, running back Moe Neal, wide receiver Brisly Estime, and wide receiver Steve Ishmael all moved the ball quickly.


  A Dungey keeper on third down gave the Orange a first down, followed by Neal up the middle.


  Then, a superb play fake by Dungey got Louisville to think run and Dungey found Estime for a 15-yard touchdown, Syracuse's first score of the game, getting the Orange on the board, 21-7, with 6:58 remaining in the first quarter.


  The Syracuse pressure had a wake up call on the next drive as they come at Jackson multiple times, forcing a punt, Louisville's first of the game.


  But the Orange did not capitalize on the defensive pressure, going three-and-out on their fourth drive, followed by Sterling Hofrichter's punt falling short, starting Louisville on their own 32 with 4:48 left in the opening quarter.


  Jackson aired out to wider receiver Jamari Staples who caught it in single-coverage, with Jackson following with the quarterback keeper for the touchdown, a mirror image of the prior scoring drive for the Cardinals. This placed the Cardinals ahead 28-7 inside 4:30.


  At this point in the game, Jackson had four rushes for 101 yards and two rushing touchdowns in less than 11 minutes; that broke down to 25.25 yards per carry for Jackson.


  Speaking of running, Louisville senior running back Brandon Radcliff had a big-time run that was heading toward a potential touchdown thwarted when Syracuse junior free safety Antwan Cordy met him in the open field one-on-one.


  The Cardinals would then fumble, the first fumble versus the Orange by any team this season, which saved the Orange as sophomore strong safety Kielan Whitner recovered the ball to end the first quarter.

  Beginning the second quarter, Orange redshirt-senior right guard Omari Palmer saved Dungey who let go of the ball while he was being taken down, but the Orange ended up punting the opportunity away that they received by recovering the Cardinals' fumble.


  A three-and-out by Louisville, deep in own territory, gave the ball back to Syracuse. A trick play from Dungey to Estime that resulted in Estime throwing the ball downfield to Etta-Tawo resulted in a first down.



  But an illegal formation turned the ball over on a Syracuse fourth down with 9:57 before half. The Orange could have taken the field goal on that play but decided to go for it on 4th-&-3, giving up yet another opportunity.



  Syracuse would achieve their first sack of the game, courtesy of true freshman defensive end Kendall Coleman, on the following Louisville drive, sending the Cardinals back seven yards.


  Staples caught the ball, however, on third down and the Orange were penalized for roughing the passer, moving the Cardinals ahead 15 more yards to the Orange 22-yard line.


  Then, well, the next play can only be described as a highlight reel signature moment in history for Jackson and a gif image that will be used over and over and over again as Jackson leapt over redshirt-sophomore cornerback Cordell Hudson and ran in for his third rushing touchdown of the game, making it 35-7 Louisville. This touchdown was Jackson's fourth rushing score of the game and fifth overall touchdown with the other coming from an aforementioned pass.


  Etta-Tawo would respond by catching the ball over the middle when Dungey rolled out. The graduate wide receiver would then elbow his defender off of him, turn, and run forward for the score. This 47-yard pass play made it 25-14 Louisville inside three minutes before halftime.


  Jackson tried the bomb on third down and the ball went overtop his receiver, resulting in a Louisville punt from their own 15.


  On Syracuse's following possession, Etta-Tawo caught the ball by the sideline, kept his fingertips on it, turned, and gained more yardage for the first down.


  Sophomore running back Dontae Strickland followed shortly after by turning a run up the gut from nothing into a first down.


  Dungey tried his own leap by paydirt, was hit, went high, and came down on his head, but was okay.


  He would come back after a Syracuse timeout to try a loft pass to Etta-Tawo that did not work.

  But if at first you don't succeed, throw the same pass to Etta-Tawo again. Etta-Tawo gathered the ball on the next play, bringing Syracuse to a 35-21 deficit with 40 seconds remaining until the break.


  Jackson responded with two big pass plays to move the chains, wanting to score again before halftime.

  But Orange sophomore defensive back Daivon Ellison was not having it, intercepting Jackson on the Orange 12-yard line and returning the ball around midfield.

  Syracuse junior kicker Cole Murphy attempted his first field goal of the game, a 55-yard try, as time expired, but missed.

  Less than three minutes into the second half, the Orange defense bit and Cardinals' sophomore wide receiver Traveon Samuel ran to the outside, going in from 21 yards away, breaking two tackle attempts to give the Cardinals a 42-21 lead with 12:18 remaining in the third quarter.

  Syracuse would respond less than six minutes later on a Dungey keeper from one-yard out, bringing Syracuse within two touchdowns of Louisville, 42-28, with 6:49 left in the third quarter.

  However, that is as close as the Orange would come.

  Syracuse would allow 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, some to the Louisville backups, as a game that was never in their hands but at one time was within their reach ended up advancing well beyond their out-stretched arms, just as they were on the majority of Jackson's runs.

  Jackson would end with 199 rushing yards on 21 attempts, an average of 9.5 yards per carry.

  The Orange as a team ran 18 more times than Jackson (39 attempts) for 107 less yards (92 yards).

  Through the air, he completed 20 of 39 pass attempts for 411 yards, with one passing touchdown and one interception.

  On the other side, Dungey went 25-for-51 for 255 yards passing, three touchdowns, and one interception.

  Louisville set a new Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) record for total offense with 844 yards, passing and rushing combined, as they left the Carrier Dome 2-0 off of a 62-28 victory that left Syracuse at 1-1.

Categories: Syracuse Orange Football, Atlantic Coast Conference, NCAA

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