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Jackson leads Cards' blitz

QB Lamar Jackson runs for a 36-yard score on Louisville’s first drive of a 54-13 win vs. N.C. State.

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QB Lamar Jackson runs for a 36-yard score on Louisville’s first drive of a 54-13 win vs. N.C. State.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Lamar Jackson and Louisville needed less than two minutes Saturday to get rid of a whole week's worth of bad feelings from a lackluster effort against Duke.

Jackson broke a school season record with four first-half touchdowns, Louisville had three interceptions leading to 17 points and the seventh-ranked Cardinals burst past North Carolina State 54-13.

"I was mad at myself from the Duke game, and Coach saw that," said Jackson, who completed 20 of 34 passes for 355 yards. "I was like, 'I've got to prove I can't be out here, looking bad, looking to run all the time.' I tried to do less running and more throwing."

Jackson passed for three touchdowns and ran for a 36-yard score on the opening drive, giving him 34 touchdowns with five games to play. Dave Ragone and Brian Brohm each had 33.

Jackson, a sophomore quarterback and Heisman Trophy front-runner, had 359 of his 431 yards on offense by halftime. He threw touchdown passes of 74 yards to Jaylen Smith, 3 yards to Cole Hikutini and 16 yards to Jamari Staples.

As for the record, Jackson said, "That's a goal, I guess. I accomplished it."

Jeremy Smith ran for a pair of 1-yard touchdowns for Louisville, which reclaimed its high-scoring ways a week after managing a season-low 24 points against Duke and holding the ball for just 22 minutes.

"I think our guys took it personal and felt like we were the most physical team out there (Saturday)," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. "We executed well. … The game plan was to throw the football, and our guys ran really good routes."

Blanton Creque had four field goals and six conversions to set a single-game school scoring record for a kicker with 18 points. Consecutive interceptions by Jonathan Greenard and Stacy Thomas set up second-quarter touchdowns.

Whatever hope North Carolina State had of using its athleticism to slow the Cardinals and Jackson was quashed after kickoff.

Jackson's scoring run capped a 72-yard, 93-second drive just as the crowd of 55,218 was settling into its seats on homecoming. Louisville's next two scoring drives totaled 2:48, and the Cardinals might have had another if not for James Quick's fumble after a catch.

"We weren't ready to play, and that's on me," N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. "It was not our best against their best."

No. 22 UNC 35, Virginia 14: Mitch Trubisky threw three touchdown passes as the Tar Heels rode his accurate arm and a strong performance by their defense to their seventh win in a row in the series and ninth consecutive in true road games. "The defense played lights out," Trubisky said after throwing for 310 yards. "The second half we had a little bit better tempo, and we were moving them. We converted some more third downs, and we got some more rhythm."

Syracuse 28, BC 20: Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey threw three touchdown passes, Ervin Phillips had a pair of scores and Syracuse sent the host Eagles to their 12th straight conference loss. Dungey went 32-for-38 for 434 yards. He also ran 17 times for 54 yards. He said he was a little fired up by a brief first-quarter fight on the Syracuse sideline between him and a few Boston College players after an interception by BC's William Harris.

Jackson leads Cards' blitz 10/22/16 [Last modified: Saturday, October 22, 2016 9:44pm]
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