Syracuse Orange vs. Louisville Cardinals
The Syracuse Orange go for win number three in a row against the Louisville Cardinals in Big East action Saturday. The Orange are coming in off a week seven rout of West Virginia 49-23 while the Cardinals handed Rutgers a 16-14 loss last Saturday. The Cardinals are -4 point favorites over the Orange with an over/under point total set at 53.
Syracuse has been a team living on the edge with nothing but close, nail biting victories under their belt until running in to West Virginia and having their way with the Mountaineers on both sides of the ball. The Orange totaled 443 yards and were as efficient as we’ve seen this team thus far with a 12 of 17 performance on third down conversions. Everything the offense tried worked well beginning with the rushing attack which accumulated just under 200 yards with over a 4 ½ yard average. Antwon Bailey led the charge with 125 yards on 22 totes with a trip to the end zone. Even though the rushing attack was productive it was the passing of Ryan Nassib that took center stage. Nassib went 24 of 32 for 229 yards with four touchdowns against no interceptions and seemed to make a play every time West Virginia looked ready to make a comeback. The Orange defense limited the high powered WVU attack to 409 yards and intercepted two passes with one at the end of the first half with WVU inside the ten yard line. Dorian Graham returned a kick 98 yards for a TD as the Orange received contributions from multiple sources.
Louisville snapped a three game slide with their victory over Rutgers but it wasn’t a pretty win but it was typical of their style of football which is keep the scoreboard manageable and hope the offense scores enough points to make things work. That trend worked to perfection versus Rutgers as the offense totaled 312 yards and moved the ball just enough. The rushing attack was the star of game for the Cardinals which gained 190 yards for just under six yards per tote. Jeremy Wright paced the running game with 108 yards on eleven carries as the game plan was to keep the ball out of the air as much as possible. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater did what was asked of him by managing the game with a few throws and keeping mistakes to a minimum. Bridgewater was 10 of 18 for 122 yards with a touchdown and pick. The bread and butter for Louisville was once again defense that allowed less than 300 yards and picked off three passes and got a big lift from a pair of missed field goals.
The Big East is not an easy conference to figure out as some teams seem to sleepwalk through games and don’t wake up or play a full 60 minutes. From a Louisville perspective this one will be all about defense and keeping Syracuse off the scoreboard. The Orange will be riding the right arm of Nassib and hope he can find some holes in the Cardinals secondary. I’m looking at taking the Orange plus the points.
Syracuse Orange +4 Louisville Cardinals