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RALEIGH, NC (AP & GoCards.com) - Lamar Jackson ran and threw for touchdowns to help Louisville beat North Carolina State 20-13 on Saturday.
Jackson ran for 121 yards, including a 68-yard scoring sprint in the opening quarter, to lead a strong ground attack for the Cardinals (2-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). He also threw for a 20-yard touchdown to Devante Peete in the second, giving the Cards a 14-0 lead on a day when they remained in firm control from the start.
The freshman quarterback completed just 10 of 27 passes, but the Cardinals ran for 203 yards against a defense that came in ranked third nationally by allowing just 205.8 yards.
Jacoby Brissett threw for a touchdown and Matt Dayes ran for one to lead the Wolfpack (4-1, 0-1), who managed just 228 yards and spent the entire game fighting uphill.
Louisville started 0-3 before last week's romp against Samford, with Jackson setting a school record for rushing yards (184) by a quarterback. Now the Cardinals have won two straight to build some momentum.
NC State carried plenty of impressive stats into its ACC opener, though playing four overmatched opponents - two picked sixth or lower in the Sun Belt, another picked next to last in its Conference USA division and a Championship Subdivision opponent - didn't reveal a lot about whether the team could make good on its goal of contending in the Atlantic Division.
The Wolfpack had a bumpy week, too, when coach Dave Doeren had to dismiss last year's leading rusher Shadrach Thornton from the team following another round of legal trouble with a midweek arrest.
NC State committed two big turnovers, the biggest coming in the opening quarter when Jumichael Ramos made a 48-yard catch and dragged a defender inside the 10 only to lose a fumble as he fell to the ground. Dayes also lost a fumble near midfield that the Cardinals converted into a field goal in the third.
The Wolfpack had committed one turnover through the first four games.