The Duke Blue Devils traveled to Papa John’s Stadium Friday night to take on the 7th ranked Louisville Cardinals in a blackout game that put the Cardinals on the national podium once again. It featured the Heisman front runner QB Lamar Jackson and freshman QB Daniel Jones going head to head.
Duke (3-4/0-3) was coming off a 13-6 win over Army and UofL (5-1/ 2-1) was coming off their first loss of the season up in Death Valley against the defending ACC champions, Clemson Tigers. The Cardinals were favored by 35 points but that was hardly the case throughout the game.
Lamar Jackson continues his Heisman campaign
Has there been a better college football player in the country than Lamar Jackson this year? It’s still not even close as before thisd week, he was in the lead in almost every major sports publication for the Heisman trophy. Tonight, he had 181 passing yards and 144 rushing yards with two touchdowns and no turnovers.
Against the Blue Devils, he didn’t look as sharp in the passing game, he overthrew a couple receivers and missed some open targets. But he did easily throw a 53 yard touchdown to freshman Seth Dawkins with a quick flick of his wrist. Jackson has the arm strength, but his accuracy will come with experience. Jackson was able to punish Duke on the ground with some elusive runs. He would slip his way between defenders and be down the field in the blink of an eye. Despite only having 325 total yards and two touchdowns, his Heisman campaign is still far ahead of anyone else.
Duke played like the old Temple basketball team with draining the clock
It seemed as if Duke was playing a four corners offense with the way they controlled the clock on the football field Friday night. The Blue Devils only really used three different plays it seemed and did the best attempt of anyone this season to slow down the Cardinals. They tried to keep the Cardinal offense off the field and did a great job of it.
In the 2nd quarter alone, Duke had the ball for 12:15 while UofL had the ball for 2:45. Duke would either run the ball down the middle, throw a short pass, or throw a screen pass every play until they got a first down. Despite having the ball for 37 minutes compared to 22 minutes for the Cardinals, they couldn’t keep Lamar Jackson off the field forever and that’s what it came down to.
The game did actually come down to the wire, in the 4th quarter Louisville missed a 46 yard field goal but Duke was called for roughing the kicker that eventually allowed the Cardinals to ice the game. It was 4th and 22 but the Cardinals got bailed with an automatic first down. Louisvilles playoff chances might have been saved also by that penalty, but that's college football for you. Eventually, though, the Cardinals held on to the 24-14 lead over Duke.