LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville football program has lost to Syracuse only once in six games since the Cardinals joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2015.
That was two seasons ago in Syracuse, a 54-23 Friday night beat down that resulted in the firing of Bobby Petrino two days later.
The Cards finished that season with losses to North Carolina State and Kentucky and a 2-10 record.
Louisville sits at 2-6 as it hosts the Orange tonight at 7 -- and if the Cards want to avoid their second two-win season in three years they likely need to handle Syracuse. (U of L will finish at home against Wake Forest Nov. 28 and then visit Boston College Dec. 12 after an off week.)
1. Time: 7 p.m., Friday, Cardinal Stadium.
2. Where to Watch/Listen: TV -- ESPN (Anish Shroff; Tom Luginbill; Katie George); Radio 840 WHAS (Paul Rogers; Craig Swabek; Jody Demling).
3. The Line: Point spread -- Louisville by 19; Over/Under (total points) 56 1/2.
4. The Analytics: Jeff Sagarin Predictor computer formula favors Louisville by 9.83. ESPN Football Power Index gives Louisville win probability of 83.7 percent.
5. The Last Time: Javian Hawkins ran for 233 yards as the Cards handled the Orange, 56-34, last Nov. 23 in Cardinal Stadium. Louisville has won 5 of the last 6 in the series as well as 8 of the last 10.
6. The Records: Cards are 2-6 on a two-game losing streak; Syracuse is 1-7. The Orange defeated Georgia Tech, 37-20, in their third game.
7. Player to Watch (Syracuse) -- The Orange will go with JaCobian Morgan at quarterback. He is a freshman, making his second career start. In a 16-13 loss to Boston College last week, Morgan was solid but not spectacular. He completed 19 of 30 throws with a touchdown and interception, but most of his completions were short, as reflected by his 6.3 yards per attempt average. Morgan was ranked as only the 56th best prospect in the state of Mississippi by 247Sports.
8. Player to Watch (Louisville) -- Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham had a big game against Syracuse last season, throwing for 238 yards and five touchdowns while also running for 60 yards and a score. Cunningham has not thrown more than three TD passes in a game this season and did not have any last week at Virginia. In fact, Cunningham has thrown at least one pick in five of U of L's eight games.
9. Sideline storyline: In Syracuse they are billing this game as the most winnable game left on the Orange schedule, which is the same thing they are saying in Louisville. Both teams are 1-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, tied for 12th with Florida State and Duke. The loser will sit alone in 16th … Cunningham's 197 yards rushing at Virginia last week was the most yards any FBS quarterback has rushed for in a game this season. Syracuse ranks last in the ACC in run defense, allowing nearly 224 yards per game …ESPN play by play announcer Anish Shroff is a Syracuse grad while sideline reporter Katie George is an alum of U of L and WDRB.
10. The Quote: Louisville coach Scott Satterfield:
"Obviously, there's a lot of distractions, there's a lot of negative things that are out there. But the opportunity to come play football is a great thing. And this year you never know if it's going to get taken away at any point in time, through contact tracing or the virus and/or game canceled or pushed back. So, when you are here and you have an opportunity to go out and compete, let's make the most of that and let's have fun with it."
11. Social Media
12. The Picks: John Lewis U of L 27-10; Eric Crawford U of L 31-21; Tom Lane U of L 37-21; Aaron Matas U of L 38-21; Rick Bozich U of L 31-17.
Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All rights reserved