Lamar Jackson continued his early season onslaught, throwing a long touchdown pass and running for four more scores to help No. 13 Louisville rout Syracuse 62-28 on Friday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
Jackson, the national offensive player of the week for his performance in the opener against Charlotte, a 70-14 victory, picked up right where he left off. He hit a wide-open James Quick for a 72-yard score on the game's first play from scrimmage to put the Orange defense on its heels, and it stayed there during a first-quarter blitz by Jackson and company.
"He had a great game," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. "What I was most pleased with was how well he prepared for the game. He worked extremely hard all week. He did a great job executing. He threw the ball around and ran real well. He did a great job of everything we asked him to do."
Jackson, who was rarely pressured by a Syracuse defense that was content to lay back, scored on runs of seven, 72 and 13 yards to give Louisville a 28-7 lead after one quarter. He had 108 yards rushing and 207 yards passing as the Cardinals (2-0) outgained the Orange 352-98 in the period, then tacked on a 9-yard scoring run in the second for a 35-7 lead. That was one for the highlight reels, with Jackson displaying hurdler-like ability with a leap over a Syracuse defender at the goal line.
"I had to take flight, score and get into the end zone," Jackson said. "I think I did something like that in high school. I feel like I can score (on any play). I feel I can get my team in the end zone on any play."
Jackson finished with 199 yards rushing on 21 carries and was 20 for 39 for 411 yards with one interception as the Cardinals set a school record and came within 13 yards of the ACC record with 845 yards offensively. It was the most ever allowed by Syracuse, eclipsing the mark of 654 by West Virginia in 1993.
"I'm not sure anybody could catch him," Syracuse coach Dino Babers said. "You get mad because they couldn't catch the guy. He's the fastest guy on the football field. He got into space. I saw him outrun contain with three guys who were exactly where they were supposed to be. He should have got tackled for a 2-yard loss and he runs all the way to the other sideline and steps out of bounds."
Eric Dungey was 25 for 51 yards for 255 yards passing and scored on a 1-yard run late in the third quarter for the Orange.
Syracuse (1-1) tried to claw its way back into it with a pair of scores late in the second, both by wideout Amba Etta-Tawo in the final three minutes of the period. On a 47-yard catch-and run, Etta-Tawo broke two tackles and slipped another on his way into the end zone and capped the rally with a four-yard catch in the final minute.
In the opener against Charlotte, Jackson accounted for eight touchdowns and 405 yards in the first half, then sat the second. No breather on this hot night inside the Carrier Dome.
Louisville halted the Orange rush with another score early in the third quarter, capped by a 21-yard end around by wideout Traveon Samuel for a 42-21 lead.
The Cardinals moved up six spots in the AP poll after their lopsided victory over Charlotte. Jackson accounted for a stunning 405 yards and eight touchdowns, six passing in the first half of that game. Another jump is on the way next week.
LOUISVILLE: The Cardinals proved the opening week was no fluke. They're for real, and as long as Jackson stays healthy the Atlantic Division of the ACC promises to be more interesting. Jackson's only concern on offense might be his receivers, who had six drops in the first half and more in the second. Jackson read blitzes well enough against Charlotte to hit running backs who converted those catches into TDs. He didn't need to against Syracuse, which rarely blitzed, as Louisville averaged more than 10 yards per play.
SYRACUSE: The defense wasn't tested in the opener against FCS Colgate. It was by the Cardinals, early and often. The Orange has a lot of work ahead on both sides of the ball, but showed some grit by not caving under the early barrage. The new up-tempo offense of new coach Dino Babers stalled a week after purring (Dungey was 34-for-40 passing for 355 yards in the 33-7 win over Colgate). But the Orange have found a go-to guy in Etta-Tawo, who has 19 catches for 314 yards in two games. The Orange also could use some semblance of a run game after gaining just 104 yards on 39 carries, it second straight subpar performance.
LOUISVILLE: The Cardinals get their first true test of the young season when they host No. 3 Florida State on Sept. 17.
SYRACUSE: The Orange host South Florida on Sept. 17, their third straight home game.
A combination of execution and fun has helped Maryland open the season with two convincing wins.
But the combination of Perry Hills to DJ Moore hasn't hurt either.
Hills threw for three touchdowns, two to Moore, to lead Maryland to a 41-14 win over Florida International on Friday night.
Hills completed 13-of-18 passes for 210 yards in three quarters. He connected with Moore for a 45-yard touchdown pass and Derrick Haywardfor a 9-yard score in the second quarter to give Maryland a 31-7 advantage at halftime. Lorenzo Harrison scored on a 40-yard run for the Terrapins' fourth touchdown of the first half.
"We're doing an unbelievable job of executing," Hills said. "We all came out here and had a good time. That's the final point - to come out here and have fun."
Moore finished with six receptions and 147 yards for Maryland (2-0).
"We watched on film (FIU cornerbacks) were going to play soft often so that was something we were going to attack," Moore said.
First-year Maryland head coach DJ Durkin rested Hills after his third touchdown pass - a 40-yard catch and run by Moore with 2:21 remaining in the third quarter.
"Just pleased the way we came out and played," Durkin said. "I thought our guys prepared really well, traveled really well. That was a big thing for us coming and how we were going to go through it as a team.
"It's not easy getting road wins in college football. The way our guys responded, I'm really excited for them."
The Terrapins never trailed after taking a 10-0 lead on Adam Greene's 23-yard field and Jermaine Carter's 15-yard interception return in the first quarter.
Carter's interception was the third interception return for FIU quarterback Alex McGough.
"I'm proud of this football team; I love this football team," FIU head coach Ron Turner said. "I'm disappointed for them more because we battled and we did a lot of good things defensively and I think they wore our defense down."
Alex Gardner rushed for 109 yards and scored on a four-yard run in the second quarter for the Panthers (0-2).
"We should be putting out more points as an offense because we're experienced so it's frustrating," Gardner said. "But the great thing about sports is that we get another chance."
The Terrapins are now 5-0 in their all-time series against the Panthers.
MARYLAND: The passing connection usually is Hills to Moore but the combination switched roles on a reverse play in the first quarter, when Moore completed a 21-yard pass to Hills that led to Greene's field goal. "That was fun, I almost lost the ball for a second in the lights, first career catch," Hills said.
FIU: McGough limped off the field after attempting to tackle Carter during his interception. Red-shirt freshmanMaurice Alexander replaced McGough for the next three series. Although McGough returned with 56 seconds remaining in the first half, Alexander played the entire second half. Turner said McGough experienced stiffness in his lower back and he sat him out the rest of the game as a precaution.
MARYLAND: It's back to the Sunshine State next weekend for the Terrapins, who play at Central Florida on Sept. 17 in the final tune-up before opening their Big Ten schedule at home against Purdue on Oct. 1.
FIU: The Panthers return to UMass for a second consecutive year, going to Amherst on Sept. 17.
Cam Newton will get a few extra days to recover from his latest beating by Von Miller and crew. At least he won't have to seethe for seven months.
Denver's dominant defense came up big against Newton again and the Broncos escaped with a 21-20 victory over the Carolina Panthers Thursday night when Graham Gano missed a 50-yard field goal with 4 seconds remaining.
The Broncos collected three sacks and hit Newton eight more times, not counting the abuse he took on his 11 runs.
"We wanted to make sure we got to him," safety T.J. Ward said. "Every time he ran we tried to put helmet and shoulder pads on him. If you're not going to slide we're going to put something on you. We saw him limping throughout the game so that running stuff, you can't do that all game."
Three of the hits were of the helmet-to-helmet variety but none resulted in any penalty yardage.
Miller hit him high when DeMarcus Ware was taking him down, linebacker Brandon Marshall hit him in the face just as he released a pass and safety Darian Stewart leveled him in the final minute, but because Newton was whistled for intentional grounding on the play, the penalties were offsetting.
"It's not my job to question the officials," Newton said after finally emerging from the trainer's room. "I really like this officiating crew, so it wasn't something I know they did intentionally. But it's not fun getting hit in the head."
A wobbled Newton appeared to have done just enough to get a measure of revenge for that bludgeoning in Super Bowl 50, when Miller stripped the ball and the Lombardi Trophy from his grasp.
Newton put the Panthers on the cusp of victory with a 16-yard pass to Kelvin Benjamin at the Denver 37 in the closing seconds, and another short pass to Ted Ginn Jr. put Gano well within his range.
Gano, whose practice kick hugged the right upright after Denver had called timeout, missed wide left moments later.
"I was going to drill it, no doubt in my mind," Gano said. "But this happens. It's not going to define my season."
Newton, the NFL's reigning MVP, was 18 of 33 for 194 yards, with one TD and one interception.
Just as he did over and over in the Super Bowl, Miller made a big play late, sweeping past right tackle Mike Remmersand sacking Newton at the 2-minute warning. A penalty on fourth-and-21, however, kept the Carolina drive alive until Newton retreated to the sideline when Gano came in for the potential game-winner.
His miss only piled on the pain for Newton, who stayed on one knee in disbelief as the stadium rocked and Trevor Siemian trotted out for one victory formation snap and a win in his first NFL start.
"We've got a heck of a team, a resilient team, I think you saw that tonight," said Peyton Manning's successor, who finished 18 of 26 for 178 yards with one TD, two interceptions and two sacks.
The Panthers took a 17-7 led into the fourth quarter of the first Super Bowl rematch to start a season since 1970, but Siemian hit running back C.J. Anderson for a 25-yard touchdown on the next snap.
Newton's next pass was intercepted by Harris at the Carolina 23. Ten plays later, Anderson bulled his way in from the 1 to give Denver its first lead at 21-17 with 9:26 remaining.
After Gano's 36-yard field goal brought the Panthers to 21-20, Carolina forced a three-and-out and got the ball back at its 40 with 3:06 remaining.
TAKE A KNEE: Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, a college teammate of Colin Kaepernick, kneeled during the playing of the national anthem. Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem during San Francisco's preseason games, explaining it was to protest racial oppression and police brutality in the United States. "I'm not against the military, I'm not against America," Marshall said. "I'm against social injustice."
OLD TIMES: Manning made his first appearance at Mile High as a retiree, walking through the tunnel with the Lombardi Trophy. Manning said he spoke with Siemian on the eve of the game and told him he was in his corner.
POACHING PANTHERS: Carolina led the league with 39 takeaways last season and had three in the opener, including two on Denver's first two drives. Shaq Thompson recovered rookie Devontae Booker's fumble at the Carolina 29 andBene Benwikere intercepted Siemian's pass at the Panthers' 10.
FIELD FLIP: Punter Andy Lee, who surrendered a Super Bowl-record 61-yard punt return to Jordan Norwood in February, pinned the Broncos back with a franchise-record 76-yard punt in the third quarter. His next punt traveled 61 yards.
FULLBACK FUN: Rookie Andy Janovich was brought in to bore holes for Anderson, but he surprised the Panthers with a 28-yard TD run after Denver's first two drives ended in turnovers.