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Syracuse vs. Louisville: Crystal Ball Predictions

Brad (8-0): Louisville 27, Syracuse 17

Typically, I would not project this many points for a Cardinal offense that is without their starting quarterback Malik Cunningham after a brutal leg injury and star running back Javian Hawkins, who opted out for the rest of the season. But the Orange 3-3-5 base defense has shown some holes with the exception of the Boston College performance two weeks ago. There’s also the factor of the offense holding on to the football and keeping the defense off the field, which will be easier said than done. SU has a lot of health concerns to mend coming out of the bye week. Whether Sean Tucker is fully healthy is the biggest variable for the SU offense. 

Ian (7-1): Louisville 28, Syracuse 17

If Tutu Atwell is good to go, watch out. The Syracuse DBs could spend a lot of time looking at the number one on Atwell’s back. However, the junior wideout probably won’t be 100%, so SU might just have a chance of slowing down the Louisville offense. On the other side, SU needs to get back to running the football. It was all JaCobian Morgan in the second half against BC, and while it’s not like the Cardinals’ defense is much better, SU as a whole put up a dud of an offense performance. If the Orange can draw Louisville’s aggressive linebacker corps in with play-action, then they can take a couple shots down the field. However, Syracuse just isn’t consistent enough on either end to compete with the more talented Cardinals.

Matt (7-1): Louisville 24, Syracuse 14

It’s curtains for SU football, but be sure to look at a couple possible bright spots. Hopefully JaCobian Morgan continues to play well, as well as Sean Tucker, if he can stay away from injury. This defense has still yet to prove they can stop any kind of offensive attack, I don’t think that changes in Kentucky.

Jaron (6-2): Syracuse 24, Louisville 21

Holy crap, Syracuse actually has a chance to win a game. The Orange have finally found a decent quarterback in JaCobian Morgan. Sean Tucker will be back from injury and he says he is feeling 100%. Pair him with Cooper Lutz and that is a pretty darn good backfield. SU still has threats on the outside and its defense is as solid as it’s going to be. Louisville is a bad team this year, and will be without its leading rusher in Javian Hawkins who opted out of the season this past week. SU’s biggest weakness this year has been its rush defense, so Hawkins’ absence is huge in that regard. If Syracuse can contain the Cardinal’s QB, Malik Cunningham, then this should be a pretty good game. It’s a battle of the bottom two teams in the ACC, but at least it’s a battle. Give me Syracuse in a close one on Friday night.

John (6-2): Louisville 23, Syracuse 16 

I think Vegas really got this one wrong. I’m not sure where they’re getting SU at +17-18. Who knows. Anyways, I think both teams start slow but pick it up in the second half, Syracuse will be in this one to the very end but Malik Cunningham proves to be too much and the Cardinals prevail behind a late touchdown. JaCobian Morgan will play mistake free football, but SU just kicks to many field goals and UL outscores the Orange. Like I said though, SU covers and easily at that. 

Harrison (6-2): Louisville 38, Syracuse 24

This should be SU’s best chance to emerge victorious, in at least five games. The last time the Orange faced a team with two wins or less, the date was Oct. 10. However, that one didn’t quite go as planned – a 14-point home loss to (then) 0-4 Duke. Now, traveling down to Louisville, it’s hard to see this one going SU’s way either. Like the Orange, the Cardinals haven’t fared all too well this season. Yet still, when looking at these two sides, it may be fair to say Louisville has more things to be excited about. For one, despite their 2-6 record, the Cardinals enter Friday’s game ranked sixth in the ACC in total offense. The Orange, on the other hand, ranks dead-last. On defense, Louisville is fifth in the conference in yards allowed per-game. On the flip side, Syracuse comes into Friday at second-to-last.  

One thing that’s held the Cardinals back this season has been turnovers. Louisville is third in the ACC in turnovers per game and will be going against an SU defense that has – to its credit – consistently taken the ball away from teams, all season. The Orange has forced a turnover in every game but one this year, and has notched multiple takeaways in four of its eight games. All told, a strong defensive could go a very long way for Syracuse as freshman quarterback JaCobian Morgan makes just his second career start. Regardless, I still think with Friday being Morgan’s first start away from home (among other reasons), Louisville will wind up victorious – even if it does end up relatively close.

Thomas (5-3): Louisville 27, Syracuse 17

If Syracuse is destined to win another game this season, it will come against Louisville. The Cardinals are 2-6, and star running back Javian Hawkins just opted out for the remainder of the season. Hawkins was third in the ACC in rushing yards with 822, after finishing last season with over 1,500 yards on the ground and nine touchdowns. Meanwhile, wide receiver Tutu Atwell is questionable to play for the Cardinals. The junior leads Louisville with 40 catches for 528 yards. Even so, Syracuse is incredibly depleted as it trots out inexperienced starters. While Louisville may be banged up, it doesn’t compare to the players the Orange are missing. Syracuse will stay competitive all game long, but in the end, Louisville continues SU’s losing skid.

Gill (4-4): Louisville 43, Syracuse 30

I’m definitely out of faith in Syracuse. It’s nice that Louisville’s stud running back Javian Hawkins decided to opt-out this week (did he check the schedule first!?). Regardless, the Cardinals have a talented replacement in Hassan Hall. They’ll run on Syracuse like everyone else has. While I think this is a big chance for Jacobian Morgan to put up some numbers for the first time, he’s not about to win a shootout with Malik Cunningham and U of L. 

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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