The Syracuse Orange take on the Louisville Cardinals this Saturday and hope to not only stop the losing streak but start their way down the road back towards bowl eligibility. While the Orange have been in must-win mode for a month now, this one's really really a must-win. So will the Orange win? Let's see what everyone thinks.
Score: Louisville 23 - Syracuse 17
I expect Syracuse to hit a couple of big plays on offense, but the Louisville defense will be in the backfield a lot on Saturday causing havoc. I think the Orange hang in, but once again the 2nd half struggles keep the losing streak going.
Score: Louisville 20 - Syracuse 13
The Louisville defense does not allow very many yards per game (309.3 ypg/17th nationally) and the Syracuse offensive does not gain very many yards per game (337.3 ypg/116th nationally). That is not a recipe for success. One key difference between September and October for the Orange was turnover margin. In September, Syracuse forced 9 turnovers (5 INTs & 4 fumbles) and committed only 3 turnovers (all INTS) for a turnover margin of +1.5 turnovers per game. In October, Syracuse only forced 3 turnovers (2 fumbles and 1 INT) and committed 8 turnovers (5 fumbles & 3 INT) for a turnover margin of -1.25 per game. Louisville is committing more than 2 turnovers per game. If Syracuse can limit or even eliminate their turnovers and capitalize on Louisville's turnovers, maybe they can steal a game on the road.
Score: Louisville 31 - Syracuse 17
I honestly have zero solid feelings on this game. On one hand, L'Ville has looked incredibly unimpressive. On the other, so has 'Cuse on the road. L'Ville's offense, is in a word, bad. Syracuse's defense, in a word, is pourous. Basically what I'm getting to is that there really isn't an outcome that would surprise me. So I'm going to go with the bookies that we all laughed at when they said SU could hang with LSU in the Dome and say L'Ville finds a way to cover via exploiting the Orange's secondary and late mistakes by the offense. Please, prove me wrong guys.
Score: Louisville 24 - Syracuse 20
Dammit. I want this to be different. I want Syracuse to go to Louisville and right this ship, but I'm just not sure if the defense can hang in there enough to let them. That's not to let the offense off the hook -- plenty to question there too. But if the Orange are expected to outscore opponents in order to pull off a victory, it's difficult to see it happen. Louisville can move the ball well through the air (welcome to your career-high performance, Jamari Staples), and that should be enough to grab them the win. Eric Dungey helps SU stick around as long as he can, but falls short. The team, you and I are all bummed.
Score: Louisville 28 - Syracuse 17
Here's the really scary thing...has basically been spot-on when it comes to Syracuse since the South Florida game. They've not only called us right in every loss but their lines have all been right, too. So the fact that the Cardinals are still a double-digit favorite should scare you. It makes sense to me to say that the Orange will make this a game. We'll be able to do some things on offense. But perhaps not too much, given how good the Cardinal defense has been playing. I figure we'll lose, but my heart says it'll be close and my mind says "Vegas knows." I'll split the difference.
Now it's your turn...