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Louisville 41, Syracuse 17: Orange Drubbed by Cardinals

Syracuse was thoroughly dominated in Louisville on Saturday, falling 41-17 to the Cardinals at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

With the loss, Syracuse falls to 3-6 overall and 1-4 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, while Louisville improves to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the ACC. The Orange held a lead early before being outscored 34-7 in the game’s final three quarters. And adding insult to injury in the loss, SU quarterback Eric Dungey suffered an apparent head injury and was forced to leave the game.

Early on, Syracuse trailed 7-0 but quickly flipped the script when cornerback Cordell Hudson intercepted Louisville’s Kyle Bolin. Two plays later, Syracuse hybrid Ervin Philips took a handoff from Dungey and sprinted 10 yards into the end zone.

Later in the first quarter, SU took its first and only lead of the game, when kicker Cole Murphy put a 36-yard field goal through the uprights. After that, though, it was all Louisville.

With the score still at 10-7 in the second quarter, Dungey was intercepted by Louisville cornerback Trumaine Washington, who returned it 39 yards to give the Cardinals the lead. Then, later in the half, the Cardinals drove 89 yards in two minutes and nine seconds on eight plays, taking a 21-10 lead into halftime.

To begin the second half, Louisville scored 20 unanswered points. On their opening offensive drive, the Cardinals drove 64 yards on nine plays, capping the drive when Bolin hit Cole Hikutini for a 10-yard touchdown strike.

A Cardinals’ field goal made the score 31-10, and later in the half, consecutive turnovers by Dungey helped Louisville bury the Orange for good.

He committed one with under 20 seconds to play in the third quarter, when, from SU’s 30-yard line, he scampered up the middle of the field and was stripped of the ball. It was recovered by Louisville’s James Burgess, who returned it to the Orange 12-yard line. A play later, Bolin found Keith Towbridge wide open in the corner of the end zone.

On Syracuse’s next possession, Dungey was intercepted on the drive’s second play by Louisville linebacker Trevon Young, who returned the ball to SU’s 6-yard line. Louisville got its final points of the game three plays later, when Cardinals kicker John Wallace converted on a 26-yard field goal.

At that point, the game was out of reach, but Syracuse opted not to take Dungey out of the game. Earlier this season, Dungey suffered an apparent concussion against Central Michigan, forcing him to miss the remainder of that game and the entirety of the next game against Louisiana State University.

And on Syracuse’s final drive Saturday, Dungey took a big hit and lay on the field. He needed to be helped off, and SU head coach Scott Shafer said afterward that Dungey had suffered a head injury. Shafer also said he kept Dungey in the game because Syracuse was trying to make a comeback, even though the Orange was losing 41-10 late in the final quarter.

Syracuse would finish that drive with a touchdown, as backup quarterback Zack Mahoney found Steve Ishmael for a score. But it wouldn’t matter much, and SU lost by a score of 41-17.

Syracuse will return home for its next game, when it hosts current No. 1 Clemson at the Carrier Dome. Be sure to listen to the game live on 88.3-FM WAER.