Top 25: Lamar Jackson, Louisville Cardinals jolt North Carolina Tar Heels

By The Sports Xchange
Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson lifted his team past North Carolina on Saturday. Photo by John Sommers II /UPI
Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson lifted his team past North Carolina on Saturday. Photo by John Sommers II /UPI | License Photo

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Quarterback Lamar Jackson threw for three touchdowns and rushed for three more as No. 17 Louisville defeated North Carolina 47-35 in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams Saturday afternoon at Kenan Stadium.

Jackson gained 132 yards on the ground and threw for 393 yards. His 525 yards of total offense marked the most ever allowed by North Carolina to one player.


Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, scored the go-ahead points on a 3-yard run with 13:50 remaining. His two-point conversion pass was incomplete.

North Carolina reached the Louisville 29 but turned the ball over on downs. The Cardinals responded when Jackson hit Dez Fitzpatrick on a 30-yard touchdown pass on third down.

The Tar Heels' next possession ended at the Louisville 1.

The Cardinals took the ball 99 yards, with Jackson reaching into the end zone at the end of an 11-yard rush.


The Cardinals finished with 705 yards of total offense.

Jackson, a junior, racked up his 33rd, 34th and 35th career rushing touchdowns, ranking third on Louisville's all-time list. He has 15 games of 100 or more yards rushing, tying a school record.

Running back Malik Williams rushed for 149 yards on 13 carries.

Jackson's 43-yard touchdown run on the Cardinals' first possession of the second half pushed Louisville to a 27-14 lead.

North Carolina's Anthony Ratliff-Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.

Brandon Harris threw 22 yards to Thomas Jackson for a play that enabled the Tar Heels to go up 28-27 with the extra-point kick at the 3:41 mark of the third quarter.

Through three quarters, Louisville was dominating in total offense, 552-228, despite trailing on the scoreboard.

North Carolina quarterback Chazz Surratt, a redshirt freshman, made his first collegiate start. He didn't play in the second half because of an undisclosed ailment, with LSU transfer Brandon Harris, who started a week earlier in a loss to California, taking the snaps.

Surratt threw two touchdown tosses to tight end Brandon Fritts in the first half.

Surratt's first pass of the game went for 54 yards to Dazz Newsome, setting up a 1-yard flip to Fritts for the opening touchdown. The second one went for 5 yards.


But 10 seconds later, Louisville was back on top with Jackson's 75-yard strike to Jaylen Smith.

Jackson threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Fitzpatrick to cap an 11-play, 75-yard drive to regain the lead in the first quarter.

Louisville ended up with Blanton Creque's 37-yard field goal on the game's opening possession. He booted a 19-yarder early in the second quarter.

The Tar Heels dropped to 0-2 for the first time since 2010.

NOTES: These teams hadn't met since 2012, and that was a non-league matchup before Louisville joined the ACC. ... Louisville QB Lamar Jackson became the first reigning Heisman Trophy winner to face the Tar Heels since North Carolina met Ohio State with Archie Griffin in 1975. ... North Carolina TE Brandon Fritts, a junior, had one touchdown catch last year and then two in the first half Saturday. ... Louisville returns for two more games in the state of North Carolina this season with visits to North Carolina State and Wake Forest (and the Cardinals would like to return to the ACC championship game in Charlotte). ... North Carolina's men's basketball team received national championship rings during a halftime ceremony. ... Louisville takes on Clemson in a showdown next Saturday for its home opener. ... North Carolina plays its road opener next week at Old Dominion.


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