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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Jackson Willinger made it into the world just in time to be totally overwhelmed by Louisville playing enormous basketball and football games at the same time. He is ready to embrace the challenge.

I_medium Spread check (football): LSU by 3.5.

I_medium Spread check (basketball): No line yet

I_medium Now we got a bowl game.

And I'm gonna miss everybody. And I'm gonna miss everybody.

I_medium Last year's Music City Bowl wound up serving as the start to Lamar Jackson's 2016 Heisman Trophy campaign, so what significance will the Citrus Bowl hold for Jackson?"

Last year, I studied the game a lot more during my bowl preparation," Jackson said. "This year, it's going to be the same thing, trying to perfect my craft and trying to get better to help our team out."

If Jackson still has the ability to surprise, he will have to go about it in a different way than last season. He is the face of the program, a known commodity whom LSU will be coming after with everything it has.

The world knows what he can do. But Jackson has a very real opportunity to make a statement, even if the message has changed. LSU has a history of shutting down Heisman Trophy winners. If the Tigers win, they'll be just the fourth team in college football history to beat four Heisman winners, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

So there's that. There's also the way Jackson and Louisville finished the regular season, with two painful losses that ended their long-shot College Football Playoff hopes and then their Capital One Orange Bowl hopes. Jackson had his worst game of the season against Houston, whose defensive front gave Louisville fits.

Then, he had the crucial turnover at the end of the Kentucky game that ended the Cardinals' chances to win. If Louisville cannot figure out a way to block a stellar LSU defensive line, then good luck to Jackson and the offense.

I_medium If you missed it, the Louisville women pulled out an exciting come from behind win over No. 25 Syracuse to kick off ACC play last night.

I_medium I didn't even know that tomorrow's basketball game was dubbed as the "Countdown Classic." Thanks, Indiana game notes.

I_medium The field is all ready to go.

I_medium After yesterday, the SEC is now 1-4 bowl games, with its only win coming when 5-7 Mississippi State blocked a field goal by Miami of Ohio in the closing seconds. The ACC currently leads all power conferences with a 5-1 mark.

I_medium The Crimson Quarry previews Louisville-IU.

I_medium Villanova's win over DePaul Wednesday night brought their record in the 2016 calendar year to 37-3. That's the most games any men's college basketball team has ever won in a single year. They take on undefeated Creighton tomorrow.

I_medium And speaking of DePaul.

Sorry, guys. Not really.

I_medium Teddy Bridgewater was voted by his teammates as the recipient of the 2016 Ed Block Courage Award.

I_medium The Group of 5 schools are apparently considering forming their own playoff. It'll never happen (unless the playoff expands and they don't get an automatic bid), but I admire the gusto.

I_medium One of my favorite moments of the college hoops season so far.

I_medium Butler's plane ride home from New York (after a fairly stunning loss to St. John's) took a terrifying turn last night.

I_medium Fox says that LSU and Louisville are both coming into the Citrus Bowl looking to put a positive cap on "disappointing" seasons. I think they may be a bit much, at least on the U of L side. The Cards started the year No. 19 and are currently No. 13 with a Heisman Trophy winnner at quarterback.

I_medium Oh, Kemba. No, Kemba.

I_medium Deshaun Watson continues to be extremely mad that he didn't win the Heisman Trophy.

I_medium Campus Insiders lays out the five biggest storylines for Louisville-LSU.

I_medium It appears the new Louie also made his way to Orlando for the Citrus Bowl.

I_medium Eric Crawford has 10 things we should know about LSU.

I_medium Land Grant Holy Land looks at what Louisville did to Clemson in order to figure out how the Buckeyes might attack the Tigers.

I_medium likes LSU by two touchdowns tomorrow.


It should be a fun game with LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda charged with slowing down Lamar Jackson. LSU won't shut him down but Jackson will be facing one of the swiftest defenses in the nation and the Louisville defense hasn't seen a back like Derrius Guice.

LSU 45, Louisville 31

I_medium Our friends at And the Valley Shook give us their thoughts on what to watch for tomorrow in Orlando.

I_medium SB Nation's Bud Elliot caught up with U of L commit Russ Yeast at the Under Armour All-America Bowl.

He's going to be a good one.

I_medium Insider Louisville says we should know early on tomorrow which team is going to win the Citrus Bowl.

I_medium gives us the five biggest storylines for the Citrus Bowl.

Jackson 5,000

Lamar Jackson is 72 yards short of 5,000 combined rushing and passing yards this season. That's a mediocre first quarter for the lithe sophomore flash who had the college football world reeling after demolishing Florida State with seven TDs. He's the LSU defense's No. 1 problem on Saturday. Nothing can wreck a precisely planned and constructed defense like a running quarterback and Jackson is as good as they come.

He managed to blow past Clemson's DeShaun Watson for that tile and the Heisman with his electrifying moves. The Tigers did a good job on another dual-threat quarterback, Alabama's Jalen Hurts, but it was Hurts who hurt the Tigers with that fourth quarter scramble for the only TD.

Jackson is 6-3 and 204 pounds, which is on the light side even for a quarterback. It's tempting to think he can't stand the pounding but he doesn't take many big shots and will force Tiger defenders to think about their approach angles and tackling fundamentals or they will find themselves grasping at air.

But working in the Tigers' favor is that the defense is loaded with smaller, faster players, too. Donnie Alexander filling in for Kendell Beckwith isn't such a bad tradeoff in this situation and LSU has a pretty good rotation of defensive backs accustomed to tackling in space. Arden Key is going to have his sights set on the LSU sack record and should have plenty of opportunities. But safety Jamal Adams will be the key to keeping Jackson from breaking too many long runs.

I_medium Miami and West Virginia fans got into a bathroom fight at the Russell Athletic Bowl because of course they did.

I_mediumwrote a couple of years ago about how I missed the peak years of the Louisville-Indiana rivalry but still grew up not liking the Hoosiers because of how much my dad detested Bob Knight. Even with that being the case, I still feel privileged to have experienced perhaps the greatest moment in this rivalry's history.

You can't watch it fewer than five times. You just can't.

I_medium The C-J breaks down the biggest Louisville-IU storylines.

I_medium Injuries have forced Louisville to adopt a "next man up" mantra heading into the Citrus Bowl.

I_medium ESPN has a terrific (lengthy) read about just how different life is for Paul Petrino at Idaho than it is for Bobby Petrino at Louisville. Thank you, Tom Jurich.

I_medium And finally, beat LSU and beat Indiana at pretty much the same time.