Louisville QB Lamar Jackson added a thrilling comeback to his Heisman Trophy resume Saturday.
"It was one-on-one coverage outside, and I knew we had the best matchup, so that's the way we got the victory," Jackson told ABC.
It also might have put the 2016 Heisman on ice for the game's most dynamic player. Jackson threw four touchdown passes and was instrumental to the Cardinals offense catching a necessary spark in the second half. He completed 24 of 41 passes for 361 yards and rushed for 90 on 18 carries. More important to his Heisman hopes than statistics, however, was his role in the comeback and the aversion of what would have been a major upset. Jackson's performance placed even more distance between himself and the rest of a Heisman field that is quickly running out of weeks to make up ground.
"I don't get to see every player in the country, but I can't imagine there's one better," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Virginia had taken a 25-24 lead with under two minutes remaining, but Jackson calmly led UL on a game-winning drive that began with Jackson's 18-yard scramble to the Louisville 43. Jackson put UL in field-goal range with a pair of subsequent runs that put the ball on the UVA 29, but the touchdown pass eliminated Louisville's chance of losing the game on a missed field goal. It was Jackson's fourth touchdown pass of the day, although it wasn't as easy a Saturday as Jackson is used to. He threw an interception to Virginia star safety Quin Blanding, fumbled twice, and the Cardinals entered the half with just seven points.
Virginia's Kurt Benkert threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Doni Dowling, followed by a two-point pass to Albert Reid, to lift Virginia to a late 25-24 lead.