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Lamar Jackson’s Road To Rewriting Louisville History

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Photo Credit: USA Today/Jamie Rhodes

Needless to say, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson has had an absolutely incredible season. U of L has had tremendous quarterbacks in school history from Brian Brohm to Jeff Brohm, but Jackson is in the process of rewriting dozens of school records before leaving. How many records Jackson will grab before leaving the University of Louisville is going to be more than intriguing, and here’s a compilation of records that he can grab.

Lamar Jackson’s passing stats: 170/288, 2753 yards, 26 TD, 6 INT

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Photo Credit Bleacherreport.com

Right now, Lamar Jackson’s completion percentage doesn’t indicate he will pass Stefan Lefors (73.9%) as the most accurate quarterback in Louisville single-season history. But that said, 59% is serviceable for somebody who is an athlete like Jackson, still trying to develop his game into a quality quarterback at the next level.

But with raw numbers like passing yards and touchdowns, Jackson has a chance to leave his name in the school record books. Lamar has a shot to pass Chris Redman’s single-season record of 4,042 yards, but he will need to average 322.5 yards per game to reach that threshold. It is certainly doable as Jackson has four games over 300 yards, and came close two other times (286 against Charlotte, 295 against Clemson). But of all the basic school records Jackson is pursuing, this might arguably be the toughest mark for him to reach.

Much more realistic, though, is that Lamar has the potential to break Teddy Bridgewater’s single-season touchdown record of 31. We asked fans in October if Lamar Jackson would have more rushing or passing touchdowns at the end of the season, and 55% believed he would have more passing.

All Jackson needs is six touchdowns in a four-game stretch that includes Wake Forest, Houston, Kentucky and their future bowl game. With the Heisman-caliber quarterback throwing 11 touchdowns in the last three games, Jackson has a great opportunity to surpass Bridgewater’s mark. Once Jackson reaches the 31 touchdown mark, Jackson would need 41 more from there to surpass Chris Redman’s career record of 84.

Lamar Jackson’s rushing stats: 162 carries, 1,181 yards, 19 TD

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Photo Credit: Associated Press

As most Louisville fans are already aware, Jackson has already rewrote several records as a prolific scrambler. He’s already notched more 100-yard games than any other QB in school history, and became the first quarterback in Louisville history with a 200-yard rushing game.

Looking towards single-season rushing records, Jackson seems like a virtual lock to be the holder of both the yards and touchdown records. With four games left, Jackson would only need one touchdown per game to tie Michael Bush’s single-season record (23), and 62 yards per game to reach 1,429 yards (Howard Stevens, 1971). Considering that Jackson has only had one game without a rushing touchdown this season, and that he has yet to have a game under 62 yards this season, this is more than doable for the dual-threat quarterback.

If Jackson reaches 1,429 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns this season, he would need the following to hold the career school records:

  • 815 rushing yards to surpass Walter Peacock (3,204 yards) for the most rushing yards in school history.
  • Ten touchdowns to surpass Lenny Lyles (43) for the most rushing touchdowns in school history.

In terms of 100-yard games, Jackson only needs one more to tie Walter Peacock, Frank Moreau and Bilal Powell with seven 100-yard games in one season. Two more 100-yard games would give Jackson 13 career 100-yard games, which would tie Peacock for the most in school history. Jackson should also surpass Chris Redman’s record for total offense next week against Wake Forest, as he will only need 75 yards to reach 4,009 yards of total offense.

Lamar v. The Nation: How his stats compare to the nation’s

Perhaps even more mind-boggling is that he’s on pace to break national records.

  • Averaging five touchdowns per game, Jackson needs 18 touchdowns in four games to tie Colt Brennan’s NCAA single-season record of 63. Considering that Brennan reached the mark in 14 games, Jackson reaching it in 13 would be an impressive feat, especially as a quarterback in a Power Five conference.
  • With 227 yards passing and 226 yards rushing in last year’s Music City Bowl, Jackson became the third quarterback in NCAA history with 200+ yards passing and rushing, joining Vince Young (2006) and Johnny Manziel (2012) as the only quarterbacks to do so.

Looking towards the ACC, Jackson has a chance to rewrite multiple single-season conference records.

  • With 19 rushing touchdowns this season, Jackson would need eight (averaging two per game the rest of the way) to surpass Pitt running back James Conner for the most in conference history.
  • With 3,936 total yards, Jackson would need 1,278 yards (averaging 319.5 per game the rest of the way) to surpass Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson’s conference record of 5,214 yards last season. Jackson also needs three touchdowns total to surpass Watson’s record of 47 touchdowns last season.

Even crazier is Lamar’s single-game performance against Syracuse, which is likely the most prolific game in Louisville quarterback history.

  • If Lamar had finished with 200 yards rushing at Syracuse, not only would he have been the third Louisville runner with multiple 200-yard games (Walter Peacock and Bilal Powell are the other two), he would have been the first player in FBS history with 400+ passing yards and 200+ rushing yards in the same game.
  • His 610 total yards in that game not only surpassed Redman’s single-game school record, but is also an ACC record. His 610 yards also helped Louisville set a conference record with 845 yards in the 62-28 win over the Orange.

Jackson’s next rushing touchdown will have him join Tim Tebow (2007), Cam Newton (2010), Colin Kaepernick (2010), and Johnny Manziel (2012) as the fifth FBS quarterback ever to have 20 touchdowns passing and rushing each. Of those four, three have won the Heisman (Tebow, Newton, Manziel), and Newton is the reigning NFL MVP.

If we look into that elite category, only Tebow and Newton have thrown for 30 touchdowns and run for 20 more. Jackson can join that category with four passing touchdowns and one rushing, but he can also be the first FBS quarterback ever with 25 each if he can get six rushing touchdowns in the final four games. No quarterback at the FBS level has ever achieved 30 passing and rushing touchdowns each in one season.

With seven touchdowns yesterday against Boston College, this was Jackson’s third game with seven or more this season. That is the most since B.J. Symons accomplished it at Texas Tech in 2003, and Jackson’s three Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week awards marks the first time any player has accomplished it since 2004. Jackson’s eight touchdowns against Charlotte made him the ninth quarterback in the last decade with eight touchdowns and 400 total yards in a game, but he did that in one half of football.

 

When you break it down with all of these incredible stats, it becomes harder and harder to make the case against Jackson to win the Heisman Trophy. College football has seen some outstanding players like Jabrill Peppers and Jake Browning, but with all of these statistics and benchmarks that Jackson is setting, it would seem like he is in a class by himself.

And maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. But with how much of a statistical anomaly Jackson has become, it’s easy to see why he garners so much hype and attention.

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Posted on November 6, 2016, in Cardinal Athletics, Football, Louisville Athletics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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