—Spread check: Louisville by 10.
—Matt Fortuna of The Athletic spent 48 hours behind the scenes with Lamar Jackson during his 2017 debut.
When a Chucky Williams pick all but seals the game — after the added tension of two Purdue fourth-down conversions — Jackson heaves his towel in the air in celebration, and relief, knowing that he has his first win in 295 days.
At 11:19 p.m., he lines up in victory formation, takes a knee and turns around to chest-bump Smith, his favorite target. He sneaks up on Williams and corner Anthony Johnson from behind, leaping between their shoulders for an acrobatic photobomb en route to the locker room.
“What a great competitor,” Bobby Petrino says. “To see the way he competed and played, and the way he handled himself on the sideline, in the huddle, he truly just wanted to win the game.”
Jackson finishes with 485 total yards of offense, the second-best output of his career. He deflects credit in the postgame press conference, instead emphasizing his respect for Purdue, the plucky opponent that nearly rendered those big numbers obsolete.
On his way back into the locker room, he acknowledges the weight that has been lifted after returning home victorious at last.
“I think that was probably a chip on our shoulder; we finally got it out of the way,” he says. “We’re not on a streak anymore. We’ve got to get ready for North Carolina now. Our game’s in the past now. We got the victory. We’ve got little things to work on. We’ve got to get ready for North Carolina now.”
He grabs a boxed dinner, ducks back into the locker room to grab his bag and heads off to the loading dock, nearly 500 yards, one narrow victory and nine months of questions behind him.
—The U of L women’s soccer team got Battle of the Bluegrass season started off on a high note Friday night by taking out Kentucky in Lexington by a final score of 3-1. The win was Louisville’s first over the Wildcats in seven years. The Cards also downed Southeast Missouri State 1-0 on Monday night to move to 5-1-0.
—The men’s soccer team will look to follow the women’s lead tonight at Lynn Stadium. The Cards and Cats kick off at 7:30. Here’s your preview.
—New hoops mural (or sign or whatever) on Floyd St.
—USA Today says Lamar Jackson certainly looked like an NFL passer on Saturday night.
—What UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen did on Sunday night was ridiculous, and it’s probably going to get Kevin Sumlin fired.
—The best golfer in the world at the moment is from Louisville.
—Alabama-Florida State was the most-watched opening weekend game on record.
—The Solid Verbal recaps everything from week one of the college football season.
—Is this good? Seems good.
—Stewart Mandel wonders why any team would voluntarily choose to open its season against Alabama.
Yeah....me too....totally.....that’s crazy.
—For some reason, playing North Carolina in football always reminds me of this super strange John Bunting video that the Charlotte Observer put together. There’s a brief mention of the second of the two beatdowns that the Cards gave UNC.
—NCAA.com says Lamar’s run for a repeat Heisman is officially on.
—U of L recaps Monday’s press activity.
—The Cardinal field hockey team bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 5-1 win over Kent State on Sunday.
—I enjoy the fan uniform report.
—Kirk Herbstreit tells us seven fun things about Lee Corso.
—The Louisville volleyball team fell to Illinois in the championship match of the Cardinal Classic.
—The Louisville baseball team went viral on Sunday because of this effort:
Annual Labor Day Trick Shot...Enjoy! pic.twitter.com/UvgdCpERg8— Louisville Baseball (@UofLBaseball) September 4, 2017
—Saturday Blitz gives us five overreactions in the wake of Louisville-Purdue.
—The Cardinal women’s cross country team spent the weekend dominating the Tennessee dual.
—North Carolina coach Larry Fedora addressed the media on Monday and said that it’s very possible the Tar Heels again will play two quarterbacks on Saturday.
—Trinity’s Rondale Moore set a school record for receptions and receiving yards (still love you, TaShawn) on Saturday, and is now up for USA Today Player of the Week. Would be cool if he was going to play for Louisville next season.
—Congrats to all these guys.
Twenty former UofL players made 53-man rosters in the NFL and two others made rosters as Injured Reserve or Physically Unable to Perform. pic.twitter.com/KHoAyiiWFC— Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) September 3, 2017
—Eric Crawford lists his major takeaways from Louisville’s first game.
—Uni Swag says Louisville sported the seventh-best uniforms of college football’s week one.
—Shoutout to all those who took full advantage of the sights in Indianapolis.
Personally, I had a lovely time in Indy pic.twitter.com/xFQ6vwdzvf— Colby Helton, DAOM (@DoctorColby) September 2, 2017
You’re all doing great.
—Denny Crum was surprised that his 46-year association with the University of Louisville was terminated, but he’s ready to move forward.
“I was working, then I wasn’t,” Crum said. “But I worked 46 years, that ought to be enough for anybody. I did as much as I could do, the best I could do. I’m really kind of happy right now. I’ll be able to more fishing and hunting and spending more time with my family and doing all kinds of stuff.”
Crum started a scholarship foundation to give tuition money to deserving students from the Louisville area to attend U of L, but says recent uncertainty around the U of L Foundation leaves him unclear what will happen with that fund. In addition to $550,000 in scholarships paid to the university over the years, Crum said his fund gave $600,000 to the foundation last year.
“That’s a question that I haven’t really come to grips with yet,” he said. “I’m not sure. I gave them a lot of money that we had raised. And . . I’m not sure what I’m supposed to say. It wasn’t enough maybe, I don’t know. I don’t know what it was. I just know that I’m happy and things are good. I’m content to be able to have the freedom in my life.”
“They’re doing what they think they need to do,” he said. “I know I gave them a whole lot more than what it cost them to have me there, I can tell you that. But if that’s the way they want to do it, that’s their doing. That’s OK. I’m not complaining. I’m not unhappy. I’m about as happy as I can be, other than having a little semi-stroke. But I have all kinds of great memories, and I’m just doing great.”
Guy remains the absolute best.
—Tar Heel Blog looks at three things they learned from UNC’s season-opening loss to Cal.
—And finally, if you missed the news on Sunday, Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois is done for the year. Tomahawk Nation looks at the guy who will now be asked to keep FSU’s championship dreams alive, James Blackman.