Jackson, Louisville roll in the rain past Syracuse 56-10
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Neither the rain nor Syracuse could slow quarterback Lamar Jackson or Louisville from dominating almost from the first snap.
Jackson had another big game against the Orange, accounting for 381 yards and four touchdowns and becoming the school’s career yardage leader while leading a rain-delayed 56-10 rout on Saturday.
The Heisman Trophy winner passed for 270 yards and two TDs and rushed for 111 with scores from 43 and 19 yards in just over three quarters. Jackson’s long run helped build a 21-3 lead before severe thunderstorms and lightning caused a 43-minute, second-quarter stoppage.
Having accounted for 212 yards of offense by that point, the junior used the break to take a little nap.
“I was relaxing,” Jackson said. “I was trying to get my energy back.”
The junior then put the game out of reach with TD passes of 72 and 34 yards to Jaylen Smith and Reggie Bonnafon respectively for a 35-3 halftime cushion.
“He didn’t have as many carries as he usually does, but he also had some great throws for touchdowns,” Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said of Jackson. “That was awesome to see. It didn’t seem like the weather bothered him much.”
Jackson’s numbers came a season after he accounted for 610 yards and five TDs in Louisville’s 62-28 rout of the Orange that laid the path toward his Heisman victory. Louisville rolled up 845 yards in that game and followed with 727 against Syracuse (4-7, 2-5).
Louisville (7-4, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored all but once from outside the 20 to dominate its home finale.
“They put a whopping on us,” Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. “They jumped on us very quickly and we didn’t get a chance to compete. A lot like last year.”
Malik Williams rushed for a career-high 180 yards on nine carries with TD runs of 46 and 56 yards. Louisville native Bonnafon also had a 33-yard scoring run along with his TD reception.
Ervin Philips had an 8-yard touchdown run late in the game for Syracuse, which lost its fourth straight and sixth in eight games.
But nothing like this.
“Right now, there’s not a lot of talk,” Syracuse linebacker Zaire Franklin said. “Guys are just hurting, myself included. I think we will feel it all night. We’ve got to treat it like everything else and finish the right way.”
Syracuse: The team that upset defending national champion Clemson for its last win has yielded 1,461 combined yards the past two games. The offense sputtered as well with QBs Zack Mahoney and freshman Rex Culpepper each throwing two interceptions, including one by Culpepper into the end zone without a receiver in sight late in the third quarter.
Louisville: The Cardinals needed two snaps to score their first touchdown, setting the tone for big plays that kept coming during and after the downpour. Even backup QB Jawan Pass got in on the fun, throwing a 29-yard TD pass to Dez Fitzpatrick for their final score. Jackson registered his school-record 11th consecutive 300-yard game, passed Chris Redman to become the program’s career yardage leader with 12,474 and moved into third place all-time in the ACC. Their four interceptions matched a previous high against Wake Forest in 2015.
MAYBE NEXT TIME
Needing 54 yards receiving to pass Marvin Harrison as Syracuse’s career leader, Steve Ishmael finished with just 29 yards on two catches and has 2,704. His next reception pushes him pass Amba Etta-Tawo’s season record of 94 set last season.
DOMINANCE AND BALANCE
Louisville had 12 plays over 20 yards against the Orange — six each passing and running.
Since Jackson supplanted him at quarterback — the rest is history — senior Reggie Bonnafon moved to wide receiver last season before switching to running back this fall. His versatility resulted in a 33-yard TD run and 34-yard scoring reception, with cheers of “Reggie!” ″Reggie!” following both scores. That provided a nice ending in his home finale.
“I wouldn’t have been able to write a better ending to it,” said Bonnafon, whose career also involved dealing with the death of his father as a freshman. “In the pregame warmups it finally hit me, all the adversity. I just finally soaked it in to see how far I’ve come. ... When the ball kicked off, it was all about fun. I got faster. I’ve been working in on it.”
Syracuse hosts Boston College on Nov. 25, seeking to end its skid with a third straight series win over the Eagles.
Louisville visits in-state rival Kentucky on Nov. 25, looking to avenge last year’s Governor’s Cup game loss.
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