After carrying just three times for 22 yards in a blowout of Charlotte in the season-opener, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson said senior running back Brandon Radcliff was a little downtrodden in the locker room.
"He was kind of upset," Jackson recalled. "He was like, 'Bro, I've got to get my yards right. I told him that we had two big games coming up, Syracuse and Florida State, and that was his time to shine."
Well, Jackson was spot on.
Radcliff has followed up the opener with back-to-back 100-yard games and is averaging 11.4-yards a carry after running 14 times for 118 yards and one touchdown in a 63-20 romp of No. 2 Florida State on Saturday at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
"Brandon's a really good football player," U of L coach Bobby Petrino said. "I am so happy for him because he works so hard every single day in practice. He works as hard or harder than anybody else out there."
It was the seventh career 100-yard game for Radcliff, who now has 296 yards rushing and two TDs in the first three games. He ran for 156 yards on just 10 carries last week against Syracuse.
He also has two catches for 25 yards and one TD.
"I'm just trying to do my job," Radcliff said. "I don't worry about 100-yard games or anything like that, I just try to do my job and help us get the win. That's all that matters to me."
Radcliff led his team in rushing with 734 yards as a sophomore but came into last season and as the starter seemed to get off to a slow start. He made six starts but managed just 634 yards and seven TDs a year ago.
Petrino said the struggles for Radcliff last season were on him.
"He came into camp in great shape and the fastest I’ve ever seen him look," Petrino said. "I think a year ago, I screwed him up by wanting him to be a little heavier, and we decided on a weight this year. He came in in great shape. He’s seeing things and cutting real well."
While Radcliff didn't deny he felt in better shape this season, he also said he wasn't finished.
"I just feel my explosion now," Radcliff said. "Like (Petrino) said, I'm still fat. I still need to lose more weight. I feel like that's it for me."
Radcliff led the nation in average yards per carry - 13.9 - heading into this weekend. He is now No. 9 on the school's all-time list for rushing touchdowns with 22 and he said he's "just getting going."
Jackson is just glad Radcliff stayed focused.
"I told him he would shine," Jackson said. "I said that's what you'll do, shine, and he did."