Duke head coach David Cutcliffe is the latest to praise the work of Louisville’s Bobby Petrino and Lamar Jackson, who the Blue Devils on Friday night.
Throughout his entire career, David Cutcliffe has seen a lot of football played across the country.
The Duke head coach has roamed major college football sidelines since 1982, so he has seen his fair share of strong quarterback play, from Heath Shuler and Peyton Manning to Eli Manning and Thad Lewis. In fact, several quarterbacks whom Cutcliffe coached in college through his stops at Tennessee, Ole Miss and Duke have gone on to play in the NFL, including the aforementioned pack as well as Erik Ainge and Sean Renfree.
But not many signal-callers have impressed Cutcliffe quite as much as Lamar Jackson. And not many teams have opened his eyes quite like Bobby Petrino’s Louisville squad.
During Wednesday’s weekly ACC coaches teleconference, Cutcliffe discussed his team’s upcoming game against No. 7 Louisville, which battles Duke on Friday night at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. He knows it will be a tough test for his Blue Devils.
“I’ve coached against, I don’t know, over 10 national championship teams,” Cutcliffe said. “We’ve played quite a few good teams since we’ve been here. I really mean it.
“I haven’t seen anybody with the weapons and completeness that this Louisville team has. There’s a reason they’re playing as well as they are. So that combination has been lethal for them.”
College Football Playoff selection committee, are you listening?
Keep in mind that Cutcliffe coached against Jimbo Fisher’s 2013 Florida State team, which went 14-0, won the last-ever BCS national championship and was led by Jameis Winston, who claimed the Heisman Trophy that season.
No matter what transpires the rest of the season, the Cardinals have been an impressive bunch despite the wild—and close—loss to Clemson a few weeks ago. And no one Cardinal has stood out more than Jackson.
Cutcliffe was asked on Wednesday if he’s ever been around or seen a quarterback quite like Jackson.
“You know, I don’t know that there are many that mimic all of his skills because he is just such a great runner with such great speed to go along with all of those quarterback skills,” he said.
“I didn’t work with him, but in the impact that a guy has on the game I just recall Charlie Ward having an impact that just was incredible for those Florida State teams, particularly that one year.
“In my history, the guy that had kind of the physical tools was Heath Shuler back in the early ’90s at Tennessee. But, again, this young man is just incredible athletically.”
Behind the arm and legs of Jackson, Louisville made its presence felt on the national stage by destroying Florida State early in the season. Despite its tough loss to Clemson a few weeks ago, which puts them in a bind when it comes to the ACC Atlantic division crown, the Cardinals have a chance to have one of the better resumes in the country when the selection committee composes its final rankings in December.
If Cutcliffe was a member of said committee, it’s pretty clear that the Cards would be near the top of that poll.