Louisville-Boston College grades: Lamar Jackson notches 7 scores
Louisville Cardinals 52, Boston College Eagles 7
Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from Louisville’s runaway 52-7 win over Boston College:
Quarterback grade: Lamar Jackson, 70.5
Jackson knocks off early in Boston College rout
Lamar Jackson was able to take a seat on the bench in the first half of Louisville’s win. He still had enough time to add seven touchdowns to his season total, amassing 410 all-purpose yards in the process. The Heisman front runner was lethal on post-routes, hitting all three targets for 102 yards and two touchdowns between the numbers. Fears over the Eagles’ defense coming into the game proved well-founded; Jackson could not be contained in the open-field. An interception and fumble took some of the gloss off the performance, but Jackson can be more than satisfied with his contribution to the Cardinals’ win.
Top offensive grades:
WR Jaylen Smith, 84.7
TE Cole Hikutini, 77.8
LG Khalil Hunter, 77.4
C Tobijah Hughley, 77.4
WR James Quick, 76.2
Jaylen Smith emerges from background to become top target
Smith had only caught 14 balls entering the game, but found himself the feature of Bobby Petrino’s offense against Boston College. He caught six of seven targets, for a season-high 122 yards and a touchdown. Threatening vertically throughout, Smith caught a couple of downfield passes from Jackson including a 40 yard score. James Quick contributed with a couple big plays himself, but otherwise the Cardinals spread the ball around. Nine players caught passes, with both Jackson and backup QB Kyle Bollin moving the ball at will.
Top defensive grades:
ILB Stacy Thomas, 94.0
NT Deangelo Brown, 80.4
ILB Keith Kelsey, 85.5
FS Chucky Williams, 81.5
DT Kyle Shortridge, 78.3
Interior trio combine to wreck Eagles’ offense
Keith Kelsey and Stacy Thomas are among the most consistent off the ball linebackers in the nation. Thomas in particular is on fire right now, with 18 stops the past four weeks. Four came against Boston College, in just 22 reps. He’s not limited to playing in the box either – Thomas allowed only three receptions on seven targets for just 15 yards with a pass deflection – showing the versatility of his skillset. With Keith Kelsey and DeAngelo Brown chipping in with 6 stops combined, Boston College’s power run scheme was derailed from the outset.
Quarterback grade: Patrick Towles, 58.5
Towles toils in blowout loss
Patrick Towles was not terrible against Louisville, but he is poorly suited to playing from behind. Although he made a handful of nice throws, Towles dreadfully underthrew a post route allowing Chucky Williams to take the ball away. Under pressure on 12-of-28 dropbacks, the Kentucky transfer responded with just two completions from seven attempts (four sacks) for just 21 yards. Playing catch up from early in the first quarter took Towles entirely out of his comfort zone. His limitations were highlighted by the obvious comparison with his opposite number.
Top offensive grades:
HB Richard Wilson 74.5
WR Charlie Callinan, 73.0
HB John Hilliman, 63.8
TE Michael Giacone, 62.3
HB Tyler Rouse, 62.2
Front five fail contest up front
If Boston College were to spring a surprise, they would have to win the battle at the line of scrimmage at a minimum. Their struggles were typified by left tackle Aaron Monteiro’s team-topping 76.4 run blocking grade. None of the starting lineman played well in the ground game, with a number of missed blocks standing out. Right guard Chris Lindstrom was the biggest culprit, earning a lowly 33.2 grade. In pass protection, Monteiro undid much of his good work. He gave up two sacks, a hit and three pressures from 32 dropbacks. The Eagles’ aren’t blessed with outstanding playmakers, placing extra pressure on an offensive line that couldn’t cope.
Top defensive grades:
ILB Matt Milano, 84.1
ILB Connor Strachan, 83.7
DE Harold Landry, 80.6
CB Isaac Yiadom, 79.5
ILB Ty Schwab, 76.0
Landry frustrated by Jackson’s elusiveness
Harold Landry did his best to disrupt Louisville’s passing game, but a team effort is required to contain Lamar Jackson. Boston College’s top pass-rusher had a couple opportunities to sack the Cardinals’ quarterback, but one defender is rarely enough. Jackson’s change of direction is a match any of the nation’s top players, let alone a defensive end off-balance. Although he registered six hurries and a batted pass from 28 rushes, Landry failed to register a defensive knockdown. He got a little help from Kevin Kavalec coming off the opposite edge – he notched a sack and two hurries – but ultimately the Eagles were unable to collapse the pocket on a consistent basis.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Louisville LB Stacy Thomas