Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson threads the needle to connect with wide receiver Jamari Staples for a 15-yard touchdown strike.
The Louisville Cardinals had the opportunity to make another statement in ACC play. Their Week 9 matchup was against the lowly 2-5 Virginia Cavaliers. This game was bound to be another big day for 2016 Heisman Trophy front-runner in Louisville sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Louisville would need an offensive series or two to get in rhythm against Virginia, but Jackson would lead the Cardinals down the field for their first touchdown of the afternoon. He would have a nice 37-yard run that would set up a solid 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver and UAB transfer Jamari Staples. Louisville would lead 7-3 after the made PAT.
The Cardinals are struggling more than they should against Bronco Mendenhall’s Cavaliers team. Virginia is rebuilding under their first-year head coach. Louisville may be overlooking Virginia a bit, but should be able to distance itself from the Cavaliers by the end of this game.
Jackson will need to play well for Louisville to improve to 7-1 (5-1) on the season. He has been the biggest reason that the Cardinals have had staying power in the Top 10 of the AP Top 25 poll in 2016. Another ACC loss might jeopardize Louisville’s chances at getting a New Year’s Six bowl bid.
Louisville needs to win out and have the ACC Atlantic leading No. 3 Clemson Tigers to lose twice to have a shot at playing in the ACC Championship Game. The Cardinals lost to the Tigers head-to-head, but Clemson still has to beat another big rival on Saturday in the No. 12 Florida State Seminoles.
Louisville may not control its own destiny to make it to Orlando for the 2016 ACC Championship. However, it is obvious that it has the best player in the Power 5 in Jackson.