The Syracuse Orange will be hoping to halt a three-game losing streak when they visit the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Syracuse is coming off consecutive setbacks at the hands of Miami (FL), Florida State, and Wake Forest. The Cardinals have won two of their last three contests after most recently defeating Virginia this past weekend.
Aberration to the rule
Aside from the fourth quarter of last week’s 64-43 loss to the Demon Deacons, Syracuse has been competitive in every game this season. The Orange have won four games and five of their six losses have come by single-digits. They were beating Wake Forest 43-40 prior to a disastrous final 15 minutes.
Missing quarterback Eric Dungey did not help Syracuse’s cause against the Deacons. Dungey was sidelined by a shoulder injury and he is questionable for this week’s date with Louisville. Head coach Dino Babers said that Dungey has improved but must be assured of not risking any further damage to the shoulder. The junior has 14 touchdowns compared to nine interceptions this season. During a two-game winning streak against Pittsburgh and Clemson last month, he combined for five scores through the air without getting picked off.
Lamar Jackson rolled to Heisman Trophy in 2016 and there was never much doubt thanks to an awesome start to that season. Louisville scored at least 59 points in each of its first four games, a stretch that included a 62-28 beatdown of Syracuse. The Cardinals’ star quarterback torched the Orange for 610 total yards–411 through the air and 199 on the ground– and five touchdowns. (all five in the first half).
“No,” Babers said when asked if the Orange have a better chance of containing Jackson this time around. “He can throw the ball and he’s faster than everyone on our team.”
The junior will not become a two-time Heisman Trophy winner (at least not this year), but he is in the midst of another solid campaign. Jackson has 21 passing touchdowns to go along with six interceptions and he has also rushed for 1,176 yards and 15 scores. He accounted for four total touchdowns while rushing for 147 yards in last week’s 38-21 win over Virginia.
The Syracuse Orange are:
- 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight overall
- 5-0 ATS in their last five road games
- 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against teams with winning records
The Louisville Cardinals are:
- 3-11 ATS in their last 14 overall
- 1-7 ATS in their last eight home games
- 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games on fieldturf
Syracuse collapsed against Wake Forest, but Babers’ crew has otherwise gone toe-to-toe with just about everyone this season. A potential return to the field for Dungey would help matters to a significant extent. The Orange are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight overall, 5-0 ATS in their last five on the road, 4-0 ATS in their last four on the road against opponents with winning home records, 6-1 ATS in their last seven against winning opponents, 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven against the ACC, and 4-1-1 ATS in their last following a loss. Louisville is 3-11 ATS in its last 14 overall, 1-7 ATS in its last eight at home, 1-9 ATS in its last 10 on fieldturf, and 0-4 ATS in its last four following a win. Count on those trends continuing.