Lamar Jackson shrugged off preseason questions about his chances of becoming only the second two-time Heisman Trophy victor, saying it wasn't a focus when he won it previous year, nor would it be this fall. Working out of the shotgun and relying mostly on his legs to create excitement, Jackson fits a prototype that hasn't faired well in the NFL.
UNC now falls to 0-2.
In a game between teams that didn't perform as well as they'd hoped in Week 1, the University of Louisville takes a significant step forward in competition today at North Carolina's Kenan Memorial Stadium. Jackson finished the game with 393 passing yards and three passing touchdowns, plus 132 rushing yards and another three rushing touchdowns.
While this play is certainly impressive, it was mostly set up by great blocking. "It was just a lack of execution", said linebacker Cayson Collins, citing a problems in communication for the multiple coverage breakdowns. I think we did OK. "And if you make a mistake on the last drive-then they switch quarterbacks-it's kind of hard to go to the sideline and be like, 'Alright this is what you messed up, and this is what we can fix next time, ' because there's a different guy going in".
The Cardinals were one of the best teams in the country last season, starting 9-1 before falling apart late and losing their final three games.
Hurts recorded touchdown runs of 55 yards and three yards in the opening minutes of the first and second quarters as Alabama (2-0) totaled 305 yards on the ground.
The outcome of the game itself showed that neither Surratt or Harris is Lamar Jackson, but nobody is. The result: field goal, not touchdown.
The 2017 Heisman Trophy race is three months from being decided, but on Saturday, we received a reminder that every contender must prove that they're better than Lamar Jackson.More news: US approves billions more in hurricane aid
After all, he had Lamar Jackson on his side. His 526 yards of total offense marked the most ever allowed by North Carolina to one player. These are plays that just can't happen for the Tar Heels, especially from seniors like Proehl and Cam Dillard.
"We had the feeling coming out of this game that we stopped ourselves, " MI coach Jim Harbaugh said.
The Tar Heels are 0-2 for the first time since 2010. Jackson last season routinely punished defenses that allowed an average of at least 6 yards per play (as UNC did during its season debut). In many instances Saturday, it wasn't. "And when you talk, there's gonna be a dog fight". When the game was on the line, we held up (and) made some huge plays.
Can we talk about everything going on here?
"He was able to put the ball on people that were wide open". This could be a weapon for UNC this season. North Carolina returned just 12.7 percent of its total offense producers from last season, the lowest of any Power 5 school. That pretty much covers it.
-Will Grier, West Virginia, threw for 352 yards and five TDs in a 56-20 victory over East Carolina. Jackson is unpredictable. Not even he knows what he's going to do next.
But Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora isn't so fast to make a change on the depth chart. The bigger Badgers (2-0) wore down the Owls (0-2) despite some middling play in the middle of the game. Jackson was responsible for 525 of Louisville's 705 yards-that's 74%-and in dicing up North Carolina's defense, he flung the ball across the yard, adroitly evaded pass rushers closing in on him and scooted through running lanes as they emerged.