ON Saturday night Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson joined an illustrious group of footballers, as he was named the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, an award handed out to the best college footballer each season. While Jackson’s season with the Cardinals was incredible was he deserving of the award? Or was someone else robbed?
I hate using stats to hammer home a point, but when making the case for Jackson it’s hard not to. He finished 12th in passing yards in the country and his 51 total touchdowns for the year outscored a large majority of schools entire offense. But what stands out are his rushing stats. Jackson rushed for the 4th most TD’s with 21 and finished 8th in the country for total rushing yards. F*cking EIGHTH. There were seven running backs, whose entire job is to run with the football that had more than Jackson. That’s it. His ability to reel off huge running plays not only improved his highlight reel, but kept Louisville in the hunt for a top seed for most of the year. He started the year on fire and defeated some notable teams with games over by half time thanks to his stellar play. In his first game of the year he set the school record for touchdowns with eight, followed it up with five first half TD’s against Syracuse (effectively ending the game) and against one of his toughest opponents, #2 ranked FSU, he single-handedly put the game out of reach by half time with four of his five touchdowns passing and rushing coming in the first 30 minutes. If he was his own school he would have been 70th in the nation for total offense.
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Lamar Jackson’s dual threat ability to attack defenses in the passing and running game steered him to the top of the Heisman rankings early in the season.
TAKE away all the domnant statistics and numbers and break it down to its simplest form. When Jackson needed to win to keep Louisville in the College Football Playoff hunt and he couldn’t get it done. Going into the last fortnight of the season the only game the Cardinals had lost was a close battle 42-36 to one of the best teams in the country in Clemson, led by another Heisman contender in Deshaun Watson. However, Jackson laid an egg over the last two games, especially against Houston when he only completed 20 of 43 passes and rushed for a measly 33 yards on 25 carries. Deshaun Watson however, who finished 2nd in the Heisman voting, led his team to the ACC title game, and drove them to a victory which led to a berth in the 2016 College Football Playoff.
LOOK, it’s very easy to knock Lamar Jackson for the way he played against Houston, but let’s face it there was no way he wasn’t going to win this award. The Cardinals wouldn’t have even been in the position they were against Houston if it hadn’t been for Jackson’s amazing play earlier in the year. Besides the Heisman trophy is an individual award and individually Jackson was on another level compared to every other player in college football. Watson and the other finalists all had exceptional years, but no one could top what Lamar Jackson achieved.
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