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Syracuse Embarrassed in Louisville, Loses 41-3 to the Cardinals

Syracuse lost by 38 points to Louisville on Saturday, the Orange's steepest margin of victory since a 63-20 defeat to Maryland in week two of 2019.
Cuse.com
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Syracuse lost by 38 points to Louisville on Saturday, the Orange's steepest margin of victory since a 63-20 defeat to Maryland in week two of 2019.

Syracuse Football travelled down to Louisville this weekend with a chance at clinching bowl eligibility. Instead, the Orange left with their most lopsided defeat of the last two years. WAER's Charlie Ben-Ami details the humbling defeat.

On the day that Lamar Jackson’s number was retired by Louisville, Syracuse made the Cardinals’ current quarterback look a lot like the former NFL MVP. Malik Cunningham was electric in the first half for the Cardinals tossing 4 touchdowns and running for one. Cunningham and the rest of the Louisville squad had such a dominant first half that the games second half was little more than formalities.

All season, Syracuse’s defense has been able to stop the big play. This was a big reason why the Orange had one of the top scoring defenses in the ACC coming into their matchup with Louisville. That was certainly not the case on Saturday.

On the first drive alone, The Orange saw Louisville running back Jalen Mitchell break runs of 28 and 39 yards. Those big plays in the running game set up the Cards for big plays in the passing game as Cody Roscoe put it, “They really just had us biting because they were running the ball. They were throwing the ball well.” The big plays in the passing game were obviously there for the Cardinals as Cunningham connected on 2 30+ yard touchdowns in the first half.

Still, Syracuse has had its fair share of shootouts this season. The Orange lost one of them, a 40-37 heartbreaker to Wake Forest, but did beat Virginia Tech in a 41-36 game in an October matchup that featured little to no defense.

The issue on Saturday: Syracuse’s offense didn’t show up at all. Syracuse’s only drive that resulted in points saw Andre Szmyt barely make a 43-yard field goal-that was harbinger of things to come for SU. Garrett Shrader had by far his worst game of the season on Saturday. The transfer completed 10 passes for just 46 yards and ran for only 43. Shrader acknowledged that the Louisville defense simply was better on Saturday, “We ran our game plan how we thought it would go, but they seemed like they had our number today.”

Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader (white, 16) had 46 passing yards versus Louisville on Saturday, his lowest output of the season.
Cuse.com
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Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader (white, 16) had 46 passing yards versus Louisville on Saturday, his lowest output of the season.

Syracuse’s lack of punch in the passing game allowed Louisville to stack the box to and completely contain Sean Tucker. The freshman ended with a decent stat line, 19 attempts for 95 yards, but much of that came with the game already well out of hand. This also means that Tucker will have to wait another week to break Syracuse’s single season rushing record. Another disappointment added to a day that was full of them for SU.

With the loss Syracuse falls to 5-5 overall, and 2-4 in the ACC. The focus now shifts to next week’s matchup against NC State and possibly securing bowl eligibility. This game, though, was probably The Orange’s best chance of doing that. Both NC State and Syracuse’s final regular season opponent, Pittsburgh, are currently ranked. If Dino’s squad wants any chance in those games, a lot needs to be cleaned up.