It’s been a popular take in recent weeks, as Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson has continued to produce mind-numbing stats while the Cardinals, as a team, have struggled.
Despite Louisville’s 5-4 record, pundits and analysts have called for Jackson to receive more national attention, to be included in the Heisman conversation for a second straight season.
In his Wednesday teleconference, Jackson’s coach, Bobby Petrino, chimed in. Petrino said Jackson deserves more recognition — and that the team is at fault for him not receiving it.
“Lamar has had a great year,” Petrino said. “Some of the things he’s done, been able to do, throwing the football, running the football.
“I just wish we could have won more games so he would be getting the credit that he deserves,”
Last season, when Jackson became the first Louisville player ever to hoist the Heisman into the air, he averaged just over 393 total yards per game. Through nine games this year, Jackson is averaging over 426 yards per contest.
That’s more than 85 FBS teams.
Jackson appears unlikely to match the FBS record he set in total touchdowns last season, with 51 (he has 32 so far this year). However, the main reason for the lack of love for Jackson in the Heisman race has to be due to the Cardinals’ record.
Ranked No. 16 in the AP preseason Top 25, Louisville was expected to compete for an ACC title. Instead, the Cardinals are unranked and still fighting to become bowl eligible.
Petrino said Wednesday that Jackson has handled the adversity well. “What he’s done is just tried to work harder and encourage more and practice harder on the practice field,” Petrino said.
Still, with Jackson likely to depart for the NFL Draft following this season, it may be years before another player as dynamic as Jackson comes along. Petrino seems as disappointed as anyone that Jackson’s accomplishments have been overshadowed by his record.
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