The legend of Lamar Jackson grew last week, or should I say, was born against Florida State. Jackson put on a show against Charlotte and Syracuse, but there were still some doubts considering the quality of their opponents. Louisville and Jackson put them to rest last week, after the most impressive showing of the week against Florida State. All in all, the Cardinals have been the most impressive team in college football. The best team? I wouldn’t go that far, as I know a couple teams that would probably give them some issues. But from the eye test, Louisville wins in that regard. Louisville started around 20th in the country, but have since catapulted to a spot in the top-4. Without a doubt, the Cardinals have been the biggest movers in college football. With the competition they have around them, there isn’t much of any room for error here.
The Cardinals have a couple more steep tests on their schedule, including Clemson and Houston. They beat Clemson in a couple weeks, on the road of all places, and Jackson will be a favorite for the Heisman and one of the favorites to go to the National Championship. The next roadblock will be on November 17th against Houston. I suppose it depends on how everything else shakes out, but they still might have a case for the college football playoff if they beat Clemson and lose to Houston. Of course, Louisville can’t overlook other opponents along the way. For instance, Marshall, the team who they are playing today.
This is a sandwich game of sorts for the Cardinals. Last week they had Florida State and next week they travel to Clemson. In between is the Marshall Thundering Herd. The Herd are coming off an embarrassment of a loss against Akron. Looking ahead to Louisville perhaps, but they didn’t even show up to play, notably on the defensive side of the ball. Akron of all teams rang Marshall up for 65 points. Akron threw for 4 touchdowns and another 2 rushing in a 65-38 win over Marshall.
If Marshall plays like that again on defense, Louisville would come close to 100 points on the day. They would let up, but if they really wanted to, Jackson would run and throw all over them. Marshall quarterback, Chris Litton, did all he could to help, with 4 touchdowns and 413 yards passing. Can’t really do much when your defense allows 65 points, though. Well, maybe unless you’re Texas Tech. All eyes will be on Lamar Jackson this afternoon on the campus of Marshall University.
Louisville Cardinals vs. Marshall Thundering Herd NCAAF Betting Odds:
Louisville -26.5 (-110)
vs. Marshall +26.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Louisville vs. Marshall Pick:
Louisville has piled on the points through the first three weeks. The most impressive coming last week against the Seminoles. Lamar Jackson torched a solid Florida State unit. Jackson finished with just 216 yards passing, but he didn’t have to use his arm because of the things he was doing on his legs running. He finished with 146 yards rushing and a touchdown. The end result was a 63-20 win for Louisville. Perhaps even better than the win for Jackson, was having Michael Vick tweet how he is five times better than he was. Let’s see how the rest of this season pans out, and the rest of his career first, but he is the most dynamic player in college football at the moment.
Jackson has put up gaudy numbers on the year, including 913 yards passing, 8 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 464 yards rushing, and 10 touchdowns on the ground. He is responsible for 18 touchdowns in only three weeks of action, one coming against one of the best teams in college football. Louisville has averaged 65 points per game thus far. Anticipation is already building for the Louisville-Clemson showdown a week from today.
Marshall has been pretty good on offense. They like to play a fast up-tempo attack. They’ve averaged 50 points per game through their first two games of the season. On the defensive side of the ball, allowing 65 points to Akron is pretty scary, especially seven days before playing this explosive Louisville offense. Quarterback Chase Litton has been playing well for Marshall, passing for 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He is on the heels of throwing for 23 touchdowns and 8 interceptions in 2015. Litton will have to put together a monster game to keep pace with Jackson. He should falter in that regard, but there should be a lot of points in this matchup. I see over 80 points in this game, so the OVER looks like a quality play. I’ve gone 3-0 in Louisville games. Let’s make it another this afternoon.
PICK: OVER 74.5 POINTS (-110)