Last weekend against Duke, the usual high-powered offense of No. 7 Louisville was kept in check by a Blue Devil offense that utilized the entire play-clock to dominate the time of possession and keep Lamar Jackson and company off the field as much as possible. That game resulted a 24-14 victory for the Cardinals and also the lowest offensive output of the season.
The Cardinals, on both sides of the ball, were determined to not have a duplicate outing against visiting NC State on Saturday afternoon. While the Wolfpack entered the contest among the nation's top five against the run and top 20 in scoring defense, the Cardinals offense rarely hesitated and the defense limited the NC State offense to less than 2 yards per play until midway through the third quarter. The result was a 54-13 style-producing victory for the now bowl-eligible Cardinals.
Sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson scored on 36-yard run to cap Louisville's game-opening drive to set the stage for the lopsided win. The Heisman frontrunner accounted for four touchdowns to establish a new school record for touchdowns responsible for in a season with 34, besting a mark previously held by Brian Brohm and Dave Ragone. He finished 20 of 34 for 355 yards and three touchdowns, while also adding another 76 yards and another score on the ground.
Running back Jeremy Smith rushed for 51 yards on 14 carries, scoring twice from the 1-yard line. The Cardinals finished with 163 rushing yards, eclipsing NC State's per game average by 70 yards.
Ten different players notched at least one reception with senior tight end Cole Hikutini the favorite target, hauling in six receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown.
The Louisville offense totaled 553 total yards, with 390 coming through the air. The Cardinals were 8 of 8 in red zone trips.
Defensively, the Cardinals held an offense that was averaging 436 yards of offense to just 244, including just 14 on the ground, and only nine first downs. Trumaine Washington, Stacy Thomas and Jonathan Greenard all recorded an interception. Keith Kelsey led U of L with eight tackles.
- The attendance of 55,218 is the 8th largest crowd in stadium history.
- Blanton Creque established a new school record for points in a game by a kicker with 18.