Lamar Jackson's record-setting night proves he's better than most entire offenses

If you haven't watched Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson after two weeks, do your best to rectify that as soon as possible. The sophomore has been a touchdown and highlight machine for the 2-0 Cardinals, who are emerging as a legitimate threat to Clemson and Florida State in the ACC Atlantic.

The Cardinals had Syracuse beat on the first play of the game, a 72-yard play-action bomb from Jackson to James Quick for a touchdown. Louisville scored three touchdowns on the first five plays on its way to a 62-28 rout.

At the center of it all was Jackson, whose highlight of the night was a 9-yard touchdown run with an athletic hurdle, to boot. His record-breaking individual performance was important, because Louisville played far from its best game.

Entering Friday, Jackson's eight total touchdowns topped 115 other FBS teams. Now with 13 touchdowns, Jackson has more touchdowns than every single FBS program. To put that into more context, Missouri had only 16 touchdowns all of last season. His 15 career rushing touchdowns is also best for a Louisville quarterback ... in school history.

Jackson's total yardage is something to behold, too. His 315 total yards in the first quarter was more than 29 FBS teams through one week. His 610 total yards for the game was a Louisville single-game record -- and would rank him as the 13th best offense. He's also the first FBS player to throw for 400 yards and run for another 175 in the same game. (He actually had 200 yards rushing, but lost a yard on a run.)

He would have had more if there hadn't been as many drops or fumbles.

Granted, Jackson has played two games -- well, only 5½ quarters -- while every other team has completed one; plenty of teams will either match or leapfrog Jackson by the end of Saturday. And, yes, Louisville played just Charlotte and Syracuse. One program recently started its fourth season while the other experienced some glory but now is rebuilding under a first-year coach. Still, the numbers are what they are, and they're eye-popping.

The Heisman Trophy isn't won in September, but come next week, Jackson will be on a number of ballots -- if he isn't at the top. Based on early results, he certainly has earned the accolades. If nothing else, he's establishing himself as one of the most exciting players in college football.

Oh, and Louisville will play host to Florida State in Week 3.

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories