Lamar Jackson dazzles Music CIty

By on December 31, 2015

The Louisville Cardinals are winners of the 2015 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. The Cards defeated the Texas A&M Aggies by a score of 27-21. A large part of the victory came in the play of freshman quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Jackson totaled over 450 yards and four touchdowns in the bowl game. Passing for 227 yards and rushing for 244 with a pair of scores in each category he was voted the MVP of the game. On top of being the MVP he also broke the Music City Bowl rushing record.

Head coach Bobby Petrino was very proud of the way his true freshman performed.

“He really executed,” Petrino said, “Really proud of him. I’m most proud about Lamar that over this preparation he worked really hard. He was up there for extra hours for himself, in watching video, taking notes, trying to really learn what it takes to be a quarterback.”

Getting Jackson on the move to more than just running plays was the key to success. He would average 10.3 yards per carry, so he earned the defense’s respect with his legs, as he has done all year. The play action off those running plays is when Jackson started taking his shots.

Even though Jackson was the leader in the stat line tonight he gave much credit to his teammates: “it was just good execution by our line and tight ends blocking. We’ve been practicing it all week and just executed it now.”

Lamar would also admit to getting some of the early passes down was a part of his success.

“It was very good because I let people that I can throw instead of running,” Jackson said, “On tape it didn’t look like I ran a lot, and it was just good for our players, too, also, because they just get a chance to get the ball in and show what they can do.”

Jackson’s big play ability is what hurt the Aggies. His three big passes to James Quick, Cole Hikutini, and Jamari Staples totaled 120 yards. Combine this with just two of his runs that put him over 80 yards on just two carries with one being a 61-yard touchdown.

Once again Jackson provided the spark and energy for the Louisville Cardinals that helped them achieve the win. Even his ball management was put to the test as the team had to fight off the late come back by A&M. He would only give up one sack and didn’t allow any turnovers.

Just like the game against Kentucky, Jackson would add immediate impact. The only difference is he started and played the entire game. Regardless he still set records and made plays with his electrifying feet.

Even with all the dazzle and hype around the freshman quarterback he remains humble. After being asked what it meant to break the rushing record for the Music City Bowl he deferred if quickly.

“We got the win, and that’s all that matters,” Jackson stated, “I don’t really look at it for breaking records. I just go out and play football, really. That’s all.”

And with that Jackson ends his freshman campaign 1,840 yards through the air and 12 touchdowns. On the ground he gained 1,180 yards with 11 touchdowns. With a full offseason ahead of him, Jackson will look to run away with the quarterback spot. The future looks bright for Jackson and the Cardinals.

About Dalton Ray

Sports editor (2016-2018) that is technically award winning.Email: dray@louisvillecardinal.com

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