From The Other Side is a weekly links post, hopefully, giving you an inside look at LSU's upcoming opponent based on reports from that team's beat writers.
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson's Heisman Trophy chances didn't take a severe hit by the Cardinals' two-game slide to close the regular season.
At the very least, the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year will walk into the Playstation Theater in New York City as heavy favorite of the five candidates announced Monday evening.
But the sophomore was as much a part of a 41-38 loss to rival Kentucky in the regular season finale, ending a five-game winning streak against the Wildcats.
Jackson, who has 51 total touchdowns, 3,390 passing yards and 1,538 rushing yards on the season, notched four touchdowns against the in-state foe but threw three interceptions and coughed up the ball at the Kentucky 11-yard line with the game tied and under two minutes remaining.
In a 36-10 loss to Houston the previous week, when the No. 15 Cardinals (9-3, 7-1) entered as the No. 5 team in the College Football Playoff rankings, Jackson was sacked 11 times.
Now, Jackson and Louisville turn to a Citrus Bowl meeting with No. 19 LSU (7-4, 5-3) at 10 a.m. CST on Dec. 31 in Orlando, Florida.
- Jackson could become the first player in Louisville history to win the Heisman Trophy, something the dynamic signal caller hasn't come to grips with yet.
- Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino didn't have a problem with the CFP selection committee giving Florida State, a team Louisville beat 63-20 in September, a higher ranking in the final poll and a berth in the Orange Bowl.
- The Cardinals' loss to Kentucky revealed re-occuring problems for Louisville this season — turnovers and shaky defense. Louisville turned it over three times in a game for eighth time this season. Though it ranks 11th nationally in total defense, the Cardinals defense gave 581 total yards to the Wildcats.
- Courier-Journal's Steve Jones gives an in-depth look at Jackson, an unassuming superstar from a very private family. Even neighbors of Jackson's childhood home didn't know they lived next to one of the biggest stars in college football.
- Courier-Journal columnist Tim Sullivan argues Jackson's Heisman Trophy grip may have loosened, but he hasn't lost it. With no clear cut second option, Jackson is still the favorite, Sullivan writes.
- Jackson's stellar year won't be overlooked, but the November collapse by the Cardinals leaves a bitter taste, Sullivan writes.
- Petrino didn't mince words about his team's performance against Kentucky. The coach was perturbed by the effort on defense in the third quarter and felt Jackson "tried to do too much" on the game-sealing fumble.
- InsideTheVille.com's Mike Hughes questions whether Louisville's late-season struggles will lead to changes to Petrino's staff on both sides of the ball.
- Despite the loss to the Wildcats, Jackson added to his historic season by breaking the ACC record for total touchdowns in a season and rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a season.
- Steve Jones, Courier-Journal
- Tim Sullivan, Courier-Journal
- Mike Hughes, 247Sports
- Michael McCammon, Scout.com