Jackson dazzles, leads Louisville past Tar Heels
By Aaron Beard
AP Sports Writer
CHAPEL HILL (AP) — Lamar Jackson shrugged off preseason questions about his chances of becoming only the second two-time Heisman Trophy winner, saying it wasn’t a focus when he won it last year, nor would it be this fall.
That approach is working just fine, too.
Jackson accounted for 525 total yards and six touchdowns to help No. 17 Louisville pull away late and beat North Carolina 47-35 on Saturday, giving him more than 1,000 yards of total offense in two games.
“Last night I thought about that, like, ‘Wow, this man here is special,’” said receiver Dez Fitzpatrick, who had two TD catches from Jackson. “He can do it all. He can throw, he can run, his football IQ is off the charts — everything. Really, just a once-in-a-lifetime type of quarterback.”
The junior threw for 393 yards and three scores while also running for 132 yards and three TDs. The last came on a spinning-through-tacklers 11-yard run with 3:06 left to punctuate a dominant fourth-quarter effort by the Cardinals (2-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Jackson had 485 total yards in last week’s win against Purdue, with 107 of those coming on the ground.
“When you’re in a situation, in a 1-on-1 with him, in open space, he’s going to win,” UNC coach Larry Fedora said. “And there’s times when you’re in a 2-on-1 in open space he’s going to win. There aren’t a whole lot of guys that can do that.”
Junior Jaylen Smith had nine catches for a career-high 183 yards and a score for Louisville, which rolled to 705 yards.
The Cardinals trailed 28-27 entering the final quarter, but went ahead on Jackson’s 3-yard keeper with 13:50 left. Louisville’s defense then came up with two fourth-down stops — one at its own 1-yard line — to end promising drives by the Tar Heels (0-2, 0-1).
Louisville: There didn’t seem to be a lot of preseason buzz about Jackson’s Heisman chances. But this game was a reminder of how effortless Jackson can make things look, whether he was connecting downfield or weaving through UNC’s defense on another sticks-moving run.
UNC: The Tar Heels are 0-2 for the first time since 2010 and leave this game with a lot of questions. UNC’s shuffled offensive line lost starting center Cam Dillard in the third quarter and was already without injured starter Bentley Spain (hand injury). Meanwhile, the defense that was supposed to be improved thanks to more returning experience offered meager resistance to Jackson and the Cardinals.
“It’s shocking, it’s disappointing, it’s something we’ve definitely got to pick up on,” UNC linebacker Cayson Collins said.
WHAT HE SAID
UNC linebacker Andre Smith caused a midweek stir by saying the Tar Heels would “just stop anything” Jackson tried to do.
“I thought about what they said,” Jackson said afterward.
For the record, Smith and Jackson — two Florida natives — spoke at midfield afterward and shared a brief hug.
Louisville’s 705 yards were the third most ever allowed by UNC and the most by an opponent in its Kenan Stadium home. Jackson’s 525 yards of total offense were the most by any UNC opponent.
ALABAMA 41, FSU 10
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Jalen Hurts ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns and passed for a third score in No. 1 Alabama’s 41-10 victory over Fresno State on Saturday.
The Crimson Tide (2-0) polished off the 44-point underdog Bulldogs (1-1) with a workmanlike performance on the heels of an opening victory over No. 10 Florida State in Atlanta.
Alabama outgained the Bulldogs 305-58 on the ground.
PENN STATE 33. PITTSBURGH 14
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Trace McSorley threw for three touchdowns, including Saquon Barkley’s 46-yard catch-and-run, and Penn State pulled away.
MICHIGAN 36, CINCINNATI 14
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Ty Isaac ran for a career-high 133 yards and Wilton Speight threw two touchdown passes to help Michigan pull away.
The Wolverines (2-0) led by just three points early in the second half before scoring 19 straight points to turn a closely contested game into a lopsided one.
The Bearcats (1-1) failed to take advantage of Michigan’s many mistakes and made some miscues of their own to spoil an upset bid.
VIRGINIA TECH 27, DELAWARE 0
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Greg Stroman returned a punt 61 yards for a touchdown and Josh Jackson threw two scoring passes for Virginia Tech.
Stroman is the first player in Virginia Tech history to return a punt for a touchdown in three consecutive seasons.
The Hokies (2-0), coming off a last-second win over West Virginia, struggled offensively for much of the game, but got scoring strikes of 4 and 28 yards from Jackson. The latter one went to Cam Phillips, who broke free on a post pattern to give the Hokies breathing room in the fourth quarter.
KANSAS STATE 55, CHARLOTTE 7
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kendall Adams scored on interception and fumble returns in the first half for Kansas State.
Adams returned an interception 30 yards to give the Wildcats (2-0) a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, and had a 46-yard fumble return late in the second to make it 31-7.
Alex Barnes, Jesse Ertz and Winston Dimel had touchdown runs.
Charlotte dropped to 0-2.
TENNESSEE 42, INDIANA STATE 7
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Ty Chandler returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, Carlin Fils-aime had two scoring runs and Tennessee breezed past Indiana State,
Five days after John Kelly ran for four touchdowns in Tennessee’s 42-41 double-overtime triumph over Georgia Tech, he shared the spotlight with his backups in a game that had much less suspense. Kelly ran for 80 yards and caught five passes for 60 yards to lead the Volunteers (2-0) in rushing and receiving.
S. CAROLINA 31, MISSOURI 13
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — South Carolina spent the last week watching Missouri’s explosive offense on film. The Gamecocks made sure they didn’t have to witness a scoring frenzy in person.
South Carolina erased an early deficit with two Deebo Samuel touchdowns in a 30-second span, and the defense took care of the rest in a 31-13 victory Saturday night in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
“It was an outstanding team win,” South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. “We answered offensively, we answered in special teams, we played great red-zone defense.”
Missouri (1-1, 0-1) had scored 72 points and gained a program-record 815 yards in its season-opening victory over FCS opponent Missouri State. South Carolina (2-0, 1-0) held quarterback Drew Lock and his receivers in check and dominated the kicking game.
The Gamecocks intercepted Lock twice. They also recovered a muffed punt and finished plus-three in turnover margin.
GEORGIA 20, NOTRE DAME 19
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy led a swarming Georgia defense and the No. 15 Bulldogs got just enough plays from an offense starting a freshman quarterback to beat No. 24 Notre Dame 20-19 on Saturday night in their first road trip to this part of country in more than five decades.
The first regular-season meeting between the storied programs was a hard-hitting, penalty filled tug-o-war.
Rodrigo Blankenship kicked a 30-yard field goal with 3:39 remaining to give the Bulldogs (2-0) a one-point lead, and that was enough for Carter and company.
WCU 63, DAVIDSON 17
CULLOWHEE (AP) — Tyrie Adams threw for 274 yards and five touchdowns, Detrez Newsome ran for 288 yards and three more scores, and Western Carolina’s offense gained a school-record 778 total yards in beating Davidson 63-17 on Saturday.
The Catamounts (1-1) scored on their first three possessions and their 49 first-half points were the most scored in a half by Western Carolina since 2004. The previous school record for total offense was 711 yards, against Emory & Henry in 1969.
Shamon Eliott intercepted two passes, the first setting up Newsome’s second TD, a 25-yard run. Newsome also scored on 88- and 78-yard runs, and broke his own single-game record of 277 yards set last year against Chattanooga on Oct. 28. Corey Holloway gained 119 yards on 16 carries.
APP STATE 54, SAVANNAH STATE 7
BOONE (AP) — Taylor Lamb threw for 327 yards and five touchdown passes as Appalachian State routed Savannah State, 54-7 to earn their first win of the season Saturday.
Lamb, who was 12 of 15 passing and hit Levi Duffield on a 57-yard scoring pass in the first quarter, threw four of his scoring passes in the second quarter, including throws of 68 yards to Collin Reed and 56 yards to Jalen Virgil. The Mountaineers led at the half, 45-0.
Appalachian State picked up 279 yards rushing.
Savannah State, playing its season opener, managed just 114 yards of offense in the game while the Mountaineers rolled to 624 yards from scrimmage. The Tigers converted 1 of 13 third-down opportunities.
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