Six straight losses.
Since starting 3-0, the Syracuse Orange have lost six straight contests, and this one wasn't especially close at all. Yes, the Orange did hold a 10-7 lead over the Louisville Cardinals at one point. No, that doesn't really matter now.
Oh, and Eric Dungey got hurt while needlessly trotted out there late in the fourth quarter during a blowout. This isn't surprising. Just a sad and unfortunate sidenote to an entire afternoon you (like me) probably wish never happened. We'll wait to hear more on Dungey's status after the game and early next week. At first glance, appeared it could've been his collarbone (though concussion's not out of the question either).
So what exactly happened?
Kyle Bolin -- Louisville's third-string quarterback -- laid waste to the Orange secondary, throwing for 362 passing yards and three scores (all career highs). Brandon Radcliff ran for 117 yards on just 10 carries. The Cardinals were able to force four turnovers on the game, including a fumble (remembers stupid graphic from USF game about minimal fumbles under Scott Shafer, sobs) and a pick-six. Louisville, who was 4-4 coming into this game, had 579 (!!!) yards of total offense.
The Cardinals defense was ravenous the entire game, putting a ton of pressure on Dungey and getting hits on him often (even before the one that injured him late. Cheapshots on the SU quarterback have become the norm, unfortunately, and we saw a few more today, though the final one was not among them.
Dungey, when he was upright, was 15-of-30, for 158 yards and two picks. He also led the team in rushing with 45 yards, and he had a fumble. On the ground, the team had just 102 yards on 36 carries. The Orange had just 13 first downs on the entire game.
On some positive notes, Syracuse was able to generate pressure and turnovers (four in all) on the defensive end when they weren't giving up miles of yardage. The offense found ways to get Steve Ismael involved in the second half after not using him much in the first (he finished with four catches, 61 yards and a TD), and it appears that they may have found a better use for Ervin Phlips as well as they handed the ball off to him six times. Zack Mahoney's connection with Ishmael in garbage time also ended the three-game drought of second half touchdowns. "Grape job."
So that's that. Six losses with Clemson up next is not a great look. Yes, there's young talent here. But with diminishing on-field returns, a struggling offense and a non-existent defense, it gets hard to sit idly by and watch this all unfold. We can hope for an upset next weekend, but it's very likely the Orange will not go bowling for a second straight season (and the third time in five years now...).
Now go out and enjoy your Saturdays thinking about anything else but this game.
UPDATE: Double fuck.
Shafer said it's Dungey's head. That should be very alarming given the hits he's taken earlier this year.— Stephen Bailey (@Stephen_Bailey1) November 7, 2015