1. The Lamar Jackson hype is real
Wow! Lamar Jackson did whatever he wanted to the 49ers defense, carving them up for eight touchdowns. Perhaps more impressive than 17 completions to 10 different receivers was the composure and patience Jackson showed. There were still a couple of times when he was a little too excited and ran too early or threw the ball away, but all in all was a sensational effort. And he wasn't totally pleased. Jackson was walking off the field and I said 'A game?' He smiled and said, "Nope."
2. Feed the Stud(s)?
It's going to be hard for Bobby Petrino to Feed the Studs because he seemingly has so many of them. We expected Louisville to spread the ball around but 16 different receivers caught passes and eight different guys hauled in a touchdown pass. Keith Towbridge had to feel left out by not catching a ball. Oh wait, he had a 15-yard reception negated by a penalty. We found out that Petrino and staff are really going to have to game plan in order to try and get folks touches. Just too many guys to throw in there.
3. Defense dropping a lot of dimes
We heard in the preseason a lot about the Cardinals' 'dime' package on defense and we saw a lot of it in the opener. Oh, and it was solid. The dime leaves Keith Kelsey as the linebacker in the middle, while putting Josh Harvey-Clemons up into a linebacker-like spot - the money backer. It allows Harvey-Clemons to make plays all over the field. It also means Zykiesis Cannon is in there on the defense and he was very active. I'd hate to see them get too far away from the base defense - but with the fast-paced offenses the dime package is tough to beat.
4. Kicking game a work in progress
The kicking game was the biggest question mark coming out of fall camp and is still a work in progress. Evan O'Hara did a nice job on the extra points, making all of his kicks look easy. Mason King was good on the two punts he had - even into the wind - and did a nice on holding. But the Cardinals used three kickoff guys and that's where the inconsistency came in for the Cardinals. O'Hara had the first two and both were really short, while Blanton Creque got his a little deeper. It seemed like the best four of the night were the final four by Anthony George, who had one to the end zone and another at the goal-line. The coverage game was solid.
5. A great starting point but need to get better
Awesome start for the Cardinals but it's only one game and the competition wasn't anything like what U of L will see the rest of the way. So there does need to be improvement in all areas and like Stacy Thomas said after the game, "this is just the start. We are no where near where we want to be." The team realizes that and will continue to work.
Individual: Lamar Jackson
Well, that was an easy one for this game folks. He was 17 of 23 passing for 286 yards and six touchdowns and then ran 11 times for 109 yards and two more scores. His eight total TDs set a school record for most in a single game. He's going to be the X-factor in a lot of games.
Position group: Wide receivers
U of L has so many weapons the 49ers couldn't keep up and it opened up everything else. Staples had four catches to lead the way but it was a long list of guys who had catches. With so many guys capable of making plays, it puts so much pressure on the defense.
<iframe src="//widgets.boxxspring.com/MzAsMzk4Njk0OTA" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>