To say Louisville will be their upcoming opponents Superbowl might be a stretch. With that said, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson will clearly be a marked man this season. Opposing defenses are likely looking forward to testing themselves against the reigning Heisman trophy winner.
The North Carolina Tarheels will have the opportunity on Saturday to hand Louisville their first loss of the season and also shutdown Lamar Jackson, which very few teams have been able to do in the past 14 games.
North Carolina linebacker Andre Smith is confident his team will do just that.
“We definitely don’t want it to be the Lamar Jackson show,” Smith said on Wednesday. “So if he’s able to beat us with his arm, then – well, he’s not going to beat us at all. I take that back. He’s not going to beat us. We’re just going to stop anything that he tries to do.
“He’s not going to be able to run on us, we have everything solidified with that, and we’ll cover downfield and if the receiver’s going to make a good play, like they did on Saturday here, Cal, then, I mean, it is what it is. We’ve got to come back next play and do the same thing.”
Nothing wrong with a guy having confidence, right?
I’m assuming Smith is aware that Lamar Jackson is averaging 130 rushing yards in his last 16 games. A select few have been able to keep Lamar under 100-yards rushing and they deserve credit, considering how hard that is to do.
We’ll find out on Saturday if the Tarheel defense is up for the task, but after giving up 469 yards to California, who was picked to finish second to last in the PAC 12, I wouldn’t be so confident. Only Virginia Tech game up more yards of offense in their season opener.
JD Coffey joined on as a contributor for TheCardinalConnect.com in June of 2011. He’s a frequest on-air contributor for Cards Radio 790 WKRD. Follow JD on Twitter @JD_Coffey.