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Second half thread: Louisville 35, Syracuse 21

Well that didn’t go as planned...

NCAA Football: Louisville at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Things started poorly in this one. There Syracuse Orange were down 21-0 pretty quickly, and then 28-7. And yet, at halftime, they “only” trail the Louisville Cardinals 35-21. And it potentially could’ve been even closer. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!

Cardinals QB Lamar Jackson was the obvious star of the half, with 344 yards passing and 139 yards rushing, plus five touchdowns and a ridiculous hurdle that turned Cordell Hudson into a meme for the rest of the season. SU talked about trying different things to stop him in practice this week, and well... those things didn’t work.

And yet, the Orange and its pace were able to make up parts of the difference while protecting the football and forcing a couple mistakes from the Cardinals. Antwan Cordy and Daivon Ellison both grabbed turnovers, even if they didn’t result in points.

Over on the Syracuse side, Eric Dungey looked shaky for portions, but still managed 210 passing yards and three scores, plus another 13 yards on the ground. You saw bits and pieces of that “gunslinger” we witnessed a lot last year too — which both created plays and also put your heart in your throat. Amba Etta-Tawo put on his own show with seven catches for 94 yards and two more scores. His 47-yarder added another highlight to his growing reel already this season.

The SU defense came out looking about as unprepared as you can, allowing a 72-yard passing score on the very first play. And despite some buckling down heading into the second quarter, still look outmatched as they get burned time and time again by Cardinals receivers. Jackson being an average passer is the only thing preventing this from being an absolute massacre. He’s over- and under-thrown a few balls, plus had his receivers drop some too.

As you already know, Cole Murphy just missed a 55-yard field goal wide left at the buzzer (set up by the Ellison pick). SU also declined to kick a field goal from much closer range in the first half down 28-7, which you can’t blame them one bit for.

Syracuse gets the ball to start the second, which could potentially put them within one touchdown. This game’s getting wild. Join us here for the final 30 minutes.