A Strong Start for Lamar Jackson

Photo by Gail Kamenish | Contributing Photographer

Photo by Gail Kamenish | Contributing Photographer

Lamar Jackson was impressive in his first college football game. The UofL freshman quarterback completed nine of 20 passes for 100 yards with one interception and rushed for 106 yards in the Cards 31-24 loss to No. 6 Auburn. As a high school senior at Boynton Beach High School in Florida, Jackson passed for 1,293 yards and 20 touchdowns and rushed for 1,039 yards and 19 scores. He was ranked as the No. 30 dual threat quarterback in the country. The Cards host Houston this Saturday at noon at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

What was it like to play your first college game in this environment?
Well the first play of the game, I really wasn’t prepared for the ball. It was snapped too early, and then I was shocked that it was in my hand because that was my first time in a college game. So I was just looking and rolling, and I should have just threw it away.

Did anyone tell you that Teddy Bridgewater’s first pass was an interception too?
Yeah, they were telling me that on the sideline. That didn’t really matter to me because I don’t like to throw interceptions. I hoped that I could have gotten it back sooner.

Your first college game, you rush for over 100 yards, you throw for 100 and you got your team back in the game. Did you prove something to yourself?
I did, but at the same I didn’t because I wanted to bring my team back and win the game. Yeah, I think I accomplished something but not all the way.

Coach said that the plan was to play you at some point in the game. Did he tell you that beforehand?
Actually, I didn’t know that. I was just looking forward to the first play, to hopefully get in or something. All week, in practice, we were practicing me like on certain plays, not like, the rest of the game, the second half.

How supportive are the other guys in that quarterback room – because they’ve all played, they’ve all won big games?
They’re very supportive. They’re like big brothers to me. They tell me what to do and what not to do on the field. What I should look at and what I should not look at.

How talented is this receiving corps?
Very talented, even the veterans. We’re just coming out here to show coach what we could do.

Do you and Devante Peete have some chemistry already?
Yeah, we’re from the same place, grew up together.

How much are you looking forward to playing in front of the home fans?
An average amount. Just to compete with the quarterbacks.

What did Coach Petrino say to you after the first play?
Just not to worry about it, to stay in the game because everyone throws picks.

What is your fastest 40?
A 4.4 VT