This Saturday #3 Louisville takes on #5 Clemson. They are two teams that are very similar across the board. They both hail from the ACC. They both are top 5 teams and they both have elite dual threat quarterbacks. But the key difference is this: Louisville’s quarterback is better. He is fast. He is quick. He is strong. He is unstoppable. Lamar Jackson is currently tied for third in touchdowns in the nation. No, not tied with players, with teams. He has already accounted for 25 touchdowns to go along with over 1,300 yards passing and almost 600 rushing. Even with his other-worldly stats there is even more that he provides. Week in and week out he shows us why he is the runaway Heisman candidate this year. With plays like these it’s easy to see why this guy has fascinated the nation.
Aside from how talented of an athlete he is, what makes him truly special is between the ears. He is a relentless competitor and a complete perfectionist. After the Cardinals handled Florida State two weeks ago, he gave himself a D for a grade. His late interception bothered him. After their whopping of Marshall last weekend he gave himself an F. He has a very simple formula. He went 24-44 passing. 54.5%; and F grade. He tirelessly works to get better week in and week out and will not settle for anything less than perfection.
That isn’t to say that he is doing it alone. His offensive line has opened up massive holes for him to run through and his receivers have made highlight plays every week. The defense has also proven to be the most underrated aspect of this team. Their opponent-adjusted defensive rating is 212.787, good for 9th in the country. That is one hell of a defense to go along with the top offense in the land.
This by no means is a knock on Deshaun Watson. After a slow start in week one against Auburn he has been red hot. He has 8 touchdowns in his past three games and has been dynamic running the ball as well. Any other year we would be thoroughly impressed with Watson’s start, but this is Lamar Jackson’s year. He is a man on a mission and this is a team of destiny.
All of this being said, Clemson is still a great team. However, I am concerned with how they have started the season. The offense hasn’t been nearly as efficient as it was last year and they are prone to turnovers. Louisville may not have the the bluechip recruits (38th ranked class nationally last season) but they have been playing exceptionally well across the board. With the explosive plays coming from the offense and a defense that has been stingy all year; it is going to be very tough for Deshaun Watson and company. I just can’t see Lamar Jackson being stopped. He is the real deal. Jump on that bandwagon while you still can.