What a night for Lamar Jackson.
The Cardinals rookie quarterback set the tone for the game early and left the Music City as the bowl game Most Valuable Player. He directed a 80 yard touchdown drive on Louisville's first possession, rushing for 23 yards on three carries, connected with tight end Cole Hikutin for a 56-yards before capping the drive with a 6-yard scoring run. Following a Texas A&M first quarter touchdown that trimmed U of L's lead to 13-7, Jackson broke free for a 61 yard touchdown run that helped keep the game's momentum on the Cardinals sideline for much of the game.
"He's got wheels and he really gave us fits on the edge," said Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin. "He's an explosive player."
Jackson would account or all four Louisville scores, rushing for a pair and finding Micky Crum and Keith Towbridge for touchdowns through the air. It was his first multi-touchdown game on the ground and in the air. He would finish with a Music City Bowl rushing record of 226 yards, the seventh highest total in program history. His 453 all-purpose yards established a school record for a freshman, while also creating new school marks for career rushing yards for a freshman and equaled the freshman mark for rushing touchdowns.
"He really executed," said U of L head coach Bobby Petrino. "Really proud of him. I'm most proud about Lamar that over this preparation he worked really hard. He was up there for extra hours for himself, in watching video, taking notes, trying to really learn what it takes to bea quarterback.
"He did a great executing our run game, running the ball himself. I was happy with the way he threw the football, and it was a great win."
His performance wasn't one that one experiences often. In fact, Jackson's 200+ passing and 200+ rushing yards has never been done to a an SEC defense in a bowl game and its just the third that it those numbers have been reached in a bowl game, joining Johnny Maziel and Vince Young.
"We got the win and that's all that matters," said Jackson. "I don't really look at the records. I just go out there and play football."