NASHVILLE – Louisville freshman quarterback Lamar Jackson erupted for a record-setting night Wednesday at the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, passing and rushing for a combined 453 yards and leading the Cardinals to a 27-21 victory over Texas A&M.
Jackson’s 226 rushing yards (22 carries) and 227 passing yards (12-of-26 with no interceptions) made him just the third quarterback in FBS history to surpass 200 yards both on the ground and in the air in a bowl game. The other two were Johnny Manziel for Texas A & M in the 2013 Cotton Bowl and Vince Young for Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl.
“Oh, man. He really executed,” declared Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino. “He prepared himself very well for this game.”
Jackson, himself, seemed unfazed by the record-setting accomplishment.
“We got the win and that’s all that really matters. I don’t really look at it for me breaking records,” he said.
Louisville and Texas A&M finish the 2015 season with 8-5 records. Their final season performances played out before an official Music City Bowl crowd of 50,478.
Aggies sophomore quarterback Jake Hubenak, making his first start for A&M, performed well in the loss. He completed 28-of-48 throws for 307 yards.
During two offensive series in the third quarter, however, Hubenak turned the ball over twice. One came when defenders stripped the football lose during a sack. The other came when Hubenak threw deep over the middle and into the hands of Louisville safety Josh Harvey-Clemons.
Many Aggies fans – and college football fans in general – were curious to see how Hubenak would perform after the team’s highly recruited first and second-string QBs shockingly transferred from Texas A&M earlier this month.
Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin praised Hubenak’s performance in the face of such a challenge.
“I thought he had a great demeanor during the game,” Sumlin stated. “[The entire team] played until the end.”
The Cardinals scored quickly and often in the first quarter. Jackson carried for a six-yard TD on his team’s first offensive series, putting the Cardinals ahead 7-0.
He later threw to tight end Micky Crum for a two-yard TD to extend the lead to 13-0. Cardinals kicker John Wallace missed the ensuing PAT – his first PAT miss in 96 tries. That left the game’s outcome in doubt when Hubenak rallied the Aggies in the fourth quarter.
Texas A&M running back Tra Carson scored on a nine-yard run to bring the Aggies to within 13-7. Carson led A&M with 106 rushing yards on 20 carries.
The Cardinals answered with their third TD of the opening quarter. It came on a three-play drive capped by an electrifying 61-yard burst up the field by Jackson.
The Aggies entered halftime trailing 20-14 after Hubenak led his team down the field 97 yards on an eight-play drive that ended with a nine-yard fade pass to sophomore receiver Ricky Seals-Jones.
Each team added one touchdown in the second half. The Cardinals’ came on a 17-yard pass from Jackson to junior tight end Keith Towbridge in the third period. The Aggies’ came in the fourth quarter when Hubenak threw a 29-yard strike to Christian Kirk.
Score by quarter 1 2 3 4 - F
Texas A & M 7 7 0 7 - 21
Louisville 20 0 7 0 - 27