Louisville, Ky. — Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson shrugged off chants of “Heisman! Heisman!” from Cardinals’ fans and seemed satisfied knowing he had played a role in one of the program’s biggest wins.
A very big role worthy of all the adulation.
Jackson ran for four touchdowns and threw for another as No. 10 Louisville poured it on for a 63-20 victory on Saturday, the most points ever allowed by Florida State.
His performance helped Cardinals establish themselves as a title contender in the Atlantic Coast Conference — and the national crown — by dismantling the second-ranked Seminoles in one of the worst defeats in FSU history.
What was billed as an ACC showdown quickly turned into a rout. And after blowing second-half leads against Florida State the past two years, Louisville kept the pressure on.
Jackson ran for 146 yards and four touchdowns and passed for 216 yards and a score to lead the Cardinals (3-0, 2-0 ACC).
The quarterback’s performance raised his season touchdown total to 18 and drew high praise from none other than NFL free agent Michael Vick, a dual-threat quarterback himself not long ago at Virginia Tech.
Vick tweeted, "Lamar Jackson 5x better than what I was at V-Tech….Enough said!! #future"
Jackson was flattered but took it in stride, “I guess it’s just helping us win, you know? I don’t really look at that.”
Louisville coach Bobby Petrino talked about his quarterback’s poise.
“I’m just proud of how he prepared for the game, how he was able to stay calm,” he said. “He was able to focus and concentrate.”
Jackson wasn’t the only star in Louisville’s domination.
Louisville’s defense chipped in with five sacks. The Cardinals also held FSU (2-1, 0-1) to 284 yards and forced two turnovers. The Seminoles’ only bright spot was 10 straight points to get within 14-10 before Jackson took over.
Florida State scored another 10 points late and avoided its worst loss ever.
“Give credit to Louisville, they did a great job,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. “You don’t play with fire and let teams get ahead of you.”
Jaire Alexander contributed two 60-yard punt returns — including a 69-yarder for a touchdown — and a fumble recovery leading to another Louisville score. Brandon Radcliff rushed for 118 yards and a score and Jeremy Smith ran for two touchdowns.
Jackson added to his collection of highlights as he faked one defender and spun off another en route to his final touchdown run of 47 yards. It followed his interception on the previous series, one sign that he is human.
“I told my team I owed them four touchdowns,” he said. “I was like, I’m determined to score right here.”
No. 1 Alabama 48, (at) No. 19 Mississippi 43: Alabama scored two defensive touchdowns and another on special teams to overcome a three-touchdown deficit. Alabama freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts threw for 158 yards and ran for 146 more but it was unlikely touchdowns from Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne and Eddie Jackson that proved to be the biggest plays of the game.
Ole Miss (1-2, 0-1 SEC) looked like it might be on its way to a third straight win over the Tide late in the second quarter. Instead, it was the Rebels’ second collapse in three games.
Ole Miss took a 24-3 lead with 2:47 remaining in the first half after defensive end Marquis Haynes’ big hit on Hurts, forcing a fumble that fellow defensive lineman John Youngblood scooped up and ran 44 yards for a touchdown. But Alabama (3-0, 1-0) responded. The Tide needed just three plays and 37 seconds to pull within 24-10 after Calvin Ridley ran for a 6-yard score. Ole Miss was forced to punt on the next drive and Jackson returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown, evading several tacklers before bolting down the right sideline for the touchdown.
Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly threw for a career-high 421 yards and three touchdowns, but it was two costly turnovers in the second half that handed the game to Alabama. Kelly fumbled deep in Ole Miss territory and Payne recovered before scoring a 3-yard touchdown to tie the game at 24. In the fourth quarter, the Kelly was under pressure and threw a ball right to Allen, who ran the ball back for a 75-yard touchdown and a 48-30 Crimson Tide lead.
(At) No. 5 Clemson 59, South Carolina State 0: The game was such a mismatch that Clemson scored two touchdowns in the first quarter with no time running off the clock. An NCAA rule allows for games to be shortened by time if the coaches agree.
Clemson (3-0) led 45-0 at the half against the FCS South Carolina State (0-3), and the third and fourth quarters were 12 minutes each instead of the usual 15 minutes. Clemson is 31-0 against FCS teams.
Deshaun Watson was 12 of 15 passing for 152 and three touchdowns. Watson connected with Ray-Ray McCloud on scoring plays of 7 and 36 yards before throwing a 17-yard strike to Deon Cain and heading to the sideline in the second quarter.
The strangest sequence of the game involved a first-quarter gaffe by South Carolina State’s Ahmaad Harris on a kickoff return after a Clemson touchdown. He flipped the ball to the official in the end zone before taking a knee to stop the action. Clemson’s Denzel Johnson recovered the fumble — 14 points, no time off the clock.
(At) No. 7 Stanford 27, Southern Cal 10: Stanford's Christian McCaffrey showed off his trademark versatility, slipping out of the backfield for a 56-yard touchdown reception and diving over the pile for a 1-yard score. The AP player of the year and Heisman Trophy runner-up had a routine 260 all-purpose yards. Michael Rector went 56 yards for a touchdown on a reverse with 3:26 left in the third quarter to make it 27-10.
The Cardinal (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12) have now won seven of nine against the Trojans, the best nine-game stretch for the Cardinal in the history of a rivalry that covers 96 games and more 111 years.
USC is 1-2 for the first time since 2000, when the Trojans started 1-4 in Pete Carroll’s debut season as coach.
(At) No. 8 Washington 41, Portland State 3: Jake Browning threw three touchdown passes in the first 16 minutes as Washington closed out its uninspired non-conference schedule with a blowout. Browning and the Huskies (3-0) led 14-0 after less than 3 minutes and coasted their way past the lower division opponent.
Browning threw a 43-yard touchdown to Chico McClatcher on Washington’s opening drive, and added touchdown tosses of 11 yards to Darrell Daniels, 13 yards to McClatcher on the second play of the second quarter and a 4-yard touchdown pass to Myles Gaskin early in the fourth quarter.
Will Dissly, a converted defensive end now playing tight end, caught a 27-yard touchdown from K.J. Carta-Samuels in the fourth quarter as Washington extended its streak of scoring 40 or more points to six straight games dating to last season.
Alex Kuresa was 11 of 17 passing for 148 yards and one interception for Portland State. The Vikings (1-2) had four total turnovers and managed just 34 yards rushing on 42 carries.
(At) California 50, No. 11 Texas 43: Davis Webb has been waiting for a chance to beat Texas for almost as long as California waited for a big win against a ranked opponent.
A big performance by Webb made both come true on a night when the Golden Bears once again struggled defensively and running back Vic Enwere made a bonehead play that nearly cost Cal a chance to win.
Webb threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game to break a tie with 3:41 to play and California got its first win over a Top 25 team in nearly four years.
Webb, who grew up outside Dallas cheering for the Longhorns, made the most of his first meeting against his home-state team after watching from the sidelines the past three years when he was at Texas Tech.
He threw for 396 yards, ran for a score and connected on a 12-yard pass to Chad Hansen that broke a 43-all tie and gave coach Sonny Dykes his biggest win in four seasons at Cal (2-1).
(At) No. 15 Tennessee 28, Ohio 19: Joshua Dobbs threw a pair of 20-yard touchdown passes to Josh Malone and ran for a third score as Tennessee overcame injuries and a suspension to hold off pesky Ohio.
Tennessee (3-0) played without four starters — three were injured and defensive back Malik Foreman was suspended for team rules violations. During the first half, the Volunteers (3-0) lost two players to injuries in the first half — cornerback Cam Sutton and linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin.
Tennessee scored 38 seconds into the game on the first touchdown pass from Dobbs to Malone. The Vols continued to lead the rest of the way, though Ohio stayed close throughout. Ohio, a 27-point underdog, was within 21-19 when Dobbs and Malone connected again with 11:07 left in the game.
Louie Zervos was 4-for-4 on field-goal attempts and Sebastian Smith caught nine passes for 156 yards for Ohio (1-2).
No. 16 Georgia 28, (at) Missouri 27: Jacob Eason threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah McKenzie on fourth down with 1:31 seconds to play to give Georgia (3-0) a narrow victory in the SEC opener for both teams.
After splitting time with senior Greyson Lambert in the Bulldogs’ first two games, Eason made his first collegiate start and played every snap, completing 29 of 55 passes for 308 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. McKenzie caught 10 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score. He also carried the ball twice for 19 yards, with a 6-yard touchdown run near the end of the first quarter.
The Tigers (1-2) turned the ball over five times, including four in the second half. Missouri’s Drew Lock was 23 of 38 for 376 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. J’Mon Moore had eight catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns, including a 79-yard score that gave the Tigers a 20-14 lead midway through the second quarter.
No. 17 Texas A&M 29, (at) Auburn 16: Trevor Knight passed for 247 yards and Daniel LaCamera kicked five field goals to lead Texas A&M. Knight also ran for 42 yards and several first downs in his first SEC game for the Aggies (3-0, 1-0 SEC), who are off to another fast start. Myles Garrett had two sacks and Texas A&M’s defense harassed quarterback Sean White enough to minimize big-play chances for Auburn (1-2, 0-1).
In a matchup of teams trying to defy modest preseason SEC West forecasts, Texas A&M kept that hope firmly intact with a 478-yard offensive performance. Trayveon Williams weaved through Auburn defenders for an icing-on-the-cake 89-yard touchdown run with 6:52 left and gained 127 yards on eight carries.
The Aggies are 3-0 for the third straight year, a run they haven’t had since 1939-41.
(At) No. 20 LSU 23, Mississippi State 20: Leonard Fournette returned from a bruised left ankle in powerful form, rushing for 147 yards and two touchdowns as LSU withstood a late rally. Danny Etling completed 19 of 30 passes for 215 yards in his first start for LSU (2-1, 1-0 SEC), including a 37-yard touchdown strike to D.J. Chark. But the Tigers nearly squandered a comfortable lead, giving up two touchdowns 4:10 and 3:30 left, the second after the Bulldogs (1-2, 1-1) recovered an onside kick.
Fournette, who sat out last week’s victory over Jacksonville State, exhibited his typical mix of hard-nosed and explosive gains. He ran over tacklers for his 5-yard touchdown and burst into open field for his 25-yard score. He also had four receptions for 27 yards, but his performance was somewhat tarnished by two fumbles, one of which was recovered by the Bulldogs and one of which resulted in a failed fourth-and-short play in MSU territory in the fourth quarter. And it was that turnover on downs that sparked the Bulldogs late rally with backup Damian Williams at quarterback.
Nick Fitzgerald, whose 195 yards on the ground against South Carolina a week earlier set a school record for quarterback rushing, struggled against LSU. He was held to 13 yards rushing and completed 12 of 24 passes for 120 yards. Williams came on in the fourth quarter to convert a fourth-and-4 play with a 24-yard pass to Donald Gray, setting up his first touchdown.
(At) No. 23 Florida 32, North Texas 0: Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio injured his left knee, which overshadowed a dominant performance by Florida’s defense that allowed a school-record 53 yards on 50 plays. The previous mark was 59 yards allowed against Western Carolina in 2006.
Defensive lineman Joshua Wheeler hit Del Rio low at the end of incomplete pass late in the third quarter, drawing a personal-foul penalty. Trainers and coach Jim McElwain rushed to the field as Del Rio ripped off his helmet. Del Rio eventually got up and walked to the locker room without any assistance.
But that was hardly the end of it for Florida (3-0). McElwain, who seemingly believed Wheeler’s hit was dirty, started yelling at the North Texas (1-2) sideline and had to be restrained by officials and then players. Both teams responded by stepping onto the field and moving toward the hash marks.
There was no immediate word on Del Rio’s injury. He completed 14 of 25 passes for 186 yards, with an interception.
(At) No. 24 Arkansas 42, Texas State 3: Austin Allen threw for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns in less than three quarters of action as Arkansas made easy work of Texas State. The win is the ninth in the last 10 games for the Razorbacks (3-0), and it follows last week’s double-overtime win at TCU.
Rawleigh Williams topped the 100-yard rushing mark for the second straight game for Arkansas, finishing with 121 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. The Razorbacks outgained the Bobcats (1-1) 350-26 in total yardage in the first half.
Texas State finished with just 105 yards of offense, and quarterback Tyler Jones was 11-of-26 passing for 83 yards and an interception that was returned by Arkansas’ Ryan Pulley for a touchdown.
With Arkansas ahead 42-3 after three quarters and inclement weather nearing the area, both coaches agreed to shorten the game by five minutes and play only a 10-minute fourth quarter.
No. 25 Miami 45, (at) Appalachian State 10: Brad Kaaya threw for 368 yards and three scores and Mark Walton ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns as Miami rolled in front of a record crowd of 34,658 at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Miami (3-0) came in having scored a school-record 108 points in its first two games in wins over Florida A&M and Florida Atlantic. The Hurricanes picked up where they left off, scoring on their first four possessions to build a 24-0 lead.
Walton set the tone, busting through the middle of the line on Miami’s first play from scrimmage and racing 80 yards untouched to the end zone. Kaaya added first-quarter touchdown passes to David Njoku and Stacy Coley.
Appalachian State’s top running back Marcus Cox left the game in the first half with a lower body injury and did not return.