In a year of uncertainties, one thing that can be counted on week-in and week-out is that Syracuse’s football team will lose and look ugly in the process.
Friday night in Kentucky, the Orange once again swallowed a blowout loss, this time at the hands of the Louisville Cardinals, by a score of 30-0.
The contest played out as if it was simply just, Act IX of the comedy of errors that has been the 2020 Syracuse football season. This week playing the role of ineffective quarterback was JaCobain Morgan, while supporting actors Drew Tuazama and Nykeim Johnson filled in with the typical key turnovers to kill any possible team momentum.
The Cardinals delivered the knockout blow in the first half thanks to rushing scores from quarterback, Malik Cunningham and running back, Jalen Mitchell. Both touchdowns came after Syracuse kick-return fumbles from Johnson and Tuazama.
The Orange offense wasn’t able to generate anything and to make matters worse, Morgan left the game in the third quarter after being blind-sided by Louisville’s Yasir Abdullah. Morgan never saw the unblocked linebacker flying in off the edge which gave him zero time to react before Abdullah planted him. As Morgan fell to the ground, the back of his head bounced hard against the turf. He was replaced by an ailing Rex Culpepper who has been battling injuries of his own this season.
Like most games, the Syracuse defensive was left out to dry and did all they could to give their anemic offense a chance. Garrett Williams snatched his first career interception and Ifeatu Melifonwu halted a Louisville drive late with his late first-half pick.
Beyond the defensive turnovers, the Orange handled the Louisville offense more than the final score indicated. Syracuse gave up over 400 yards, but they forced key punts when they needed to and only gave up one touchdown drive where Louisville went the length of the field.
Louisville kicker James Turner was 3 for 3 on field goals for the night, including a 50 yarder.
Freshman quarterback Dillon Markiewicz came into the game for the Orange for the last drive of the game. He did not attempt a pass.
Syracuse drops to 1-8 (1-7) and hosts North Carolina State next Saturday, before wrapping up the season at Notre Dame the following week. Kickoff time for both games has yet to be announced.