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IT’S FRIDAY, LET’S WATCH: LOUISVILLE @ NORTH CAROLINA 2017

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WHERE LOUISVILLE GAVE YOU A CLUE THAT THEY WOULD NOT BE GOOD

Louisville v Wake Forest
2017 THE YEAR OF “LAMAR JACKSON DO EVERYTHING”
Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

Friday can be the day when the teacher really phones it in and puts a video on, but EDSBS is a different school. Oh, we’ll phone it in, sure, but not before making sure to give you an informative worksheet about the video, which is actually topical to several things currently being discussed in the sports news. The word would be “topical.”

TOPICAL VIDEO INBOUND.

A few things here.

  1. This happened in week two of the 2017 season, a time full of lies for every football team. That’s easy to say in hindsight, sure. Now everyone can look back and say that North Carolina would be obviously bad, because they remain an offense-first team, and without an experienced QB a 47-35 win turns into a 35-47 loss for the Tar Heels. Thirty-five points and twenty first downs is still a lot in a loss, and maybe that had something to do with Louisville’s defense?
  2. Reader, it had a lot to do with the Louisville defense. In hindsight, there’s early rot all over the place for the Cardinals, the kind that turned Lamar Jackson’s individual victory lap into an 8-5 team struggle. Lamar Jackson in 2017 was not much different than Lamar Jackson in 2016. It’s just that his superhuman performances in victories one season sometimes became valiant-but-futile footnotes in another. Lamar Jackson had 512 yards of total offense and five total TDs against Boston College, and Louisville lost. He had 491 yards and four TDS against Wake Forest, and Louisville lost. If things were quieter in Louisville for Lamar Jackson, it happened largely because defensively Louisville’s success rate in 2017 was garbage.
  3. That did let Lamar Jackson put some nice things on film—i.e., that beautiful touchdown pass to Jaylen Smith at 9:16 or so of the second quarter of this game. It is one of the ones that someone shows on ESPN when they talk about Lamar Jackson doing the things even the dullest NFL scout recognizes as good, fundamentally solid quarterback play. Jackson escapes pressure from the UNC defense in the pocket, climbs upfield in the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield, keeps his feet, and then launches a godlike deep ball to Smith for a score.
  4. It should be acknowledged that Jackson did this against a pretty assy UNC defense hampered by some unfortunate injuries. BUT STILL. This is a solid chunk of Lamar Jackson going nuts for four quarters against an opponent allowed just enough yardage and points to stay in the game and make the Louisville offense work. No one gets anymore of that for free in college now that he’s in the NFL Draft, and that’s something we should all appreciate on the first Friday of March.
  5. Weird, Lamar Jackson doesn’t play a single snap at wide receiver here, that’s odd.