Analysis: Cards win with subpar game from Lamar Jackson

By on November 13, 2016

By Dalton Ray–

All year long, Lamar Jackson has carried the Cardinals, and for good reason. The Heisman favorite is responsible for 4,232 total yards and 46 touchdowns. Jackson averages 423.2 total yards per game and four touchdowns a game. He’s the sole reason why Louisville is so dangerous.

With all the hype Jackson is receiving, the Cardinals start to look like a one-man team. As one college analyst described it this past week, Louisville is “Jackson and a bunch of dudes.”

It’s hard to see what Louisville would look like without Jackson, or how their success would compare. The closest thing to seeing that, aside from an injury, is to see how Louisville fairs with Jackson isn’t his normal self.

This is exactly what happened against Wake Forest. A defensive-led team, the Deacons got pressure on Jackson early and took advantage of three first half turnovers. Jackson couldn’t get settled and started making uncharacteristic decisions on multiple reads.

On top of being rattled with his running ability, Jackson had his worst passing performance of the season. Making good throws early, Jackson’s passing ability slowly declined during the game. Overthrown balls to his outside receivers and balls thrown behind his receivers on crossing routes plagued Jackson during the first three quarters.

Another aspect Jackson didn’t perform well on was throwing the ball away when faced with pressure. One of the hardest players to bring down in the nation, Jackson has the mindset of no one can tackle him. That mentality cost him against WF as he took some shots he didn’t need to take. Throwing the ball away more consistently is one of his next steps as a player.

Naturally, Jackson made plays during the game, but wasn’t consistent enough to get the Cards in the endzone. Building off the momentum created by the defense, Jackson got going in the fourth quarter and the Cardinals exploded for 34 points.

Despite the unusual performance from Jackson, Louisville walked away with a victory over a bowl-bound team. Brandon Radcliff carried Louisville to the win while the defense held the Deacons to only 12 points. This what a game Louisville needed to have to show they can win without Jackson playing at his highest level.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

About Dalton Ray

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

One Comment

  1. catch phrase

    November 14, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Jackson is amazing in my opinion

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