The No. 13 Syracuse Orange (7-2, 4-2) suit up for their final home game of the year in primetime tonight, against the Louisville Cardinals (2-7, 0-6). It’s Senior Day too, as you know, so that means the last time you’ll be seeing the likes of players like Eric Dungey, Chris Slayton, Dontae Strickland and Jamal Custis (among others) at the Carrier Dome.
Syracuse is favored by 21 points in this one and has won three straight games. Louisville, on the other hand, has dropped six in a row including last week’s 77-16 shellacking at the hands of Clemson. Bobby Petrino hasn’t been fired, and won’t be until December when it’s a lesser buyout for U of L.
Before things kick off at 7 p.m. ET (on ESPN2 for those of us watching at home), the TNIAAM staff predicts what might happen in this one...
Syracuse 48, Louisville 24
Syracuse rolls on Senior Night for this class for the first undefeated Dome campaign in a long time... a long time. The Cards should be outmatched from a good long list of fronts. The Orange get out early and ahead, but still give up either a weird run or pass over the top to spot Louisville some unexpected points.
Syracuse 44, Louisville 10
Orange get it done at home. I think the Orange rams it down Louisville’s throat for most of the game, keeping things on the ground and not showing too much. Louisville is past the point of no return, and after being demoralized vs Clemson, I think this is the game that ends Bobby Petrino’s time at the helm of the Cardinals. ’Cuse will score, ’Cuse will live in the backfield, and ’Cuse will win big.
Syracuse 44, Louisville 17
At this point the Cardinals season has reached a point where I don’t think they are playing for Petrino and are checked out both physically and mentally. If Syracuse can start fast this should be an easy win and I think the score is kept down because Dino Babers gets his starters some rest on this short week. This game means a lot to the seniors and I don’t think the Orange will be caught looking ahead.
Syracuse 50, Louisville 21
There’s a very real chance that the Orange could struggle a bit early on, which would then suck the air out of the Dome for a bit. But even if there isn’t a storybook beginning on Senior Night, there will be for the ending. The Cardinals have lost six in a row, which is bad. What’s worse: in the last four losses, Louisville is giving up an average of just over 59 points. This is a team that is 120th in points scored (21.6) and 125th in points allowed (40.8). So yes, the jerseys will have “Louisville” on them, and it will kind of look like the team that has hammered SU over the last few seasons, but this ain’t that Louisville. In fact, head coach Bobby Petrino could be given the pink slip (not a euphemism for him or Pitino or anything UofL) by the time Saturday morning rolls around.
Syracuse 51, Louisville 31
Louisville’s checked out of this season, while the Orange are still in the mix for a New Year’s Six bowl (if they can pull an upset or two after this, of course) and have a lot of seniors ready to say goodbye to the Dome in style. Expect Dungey to put up some of his best numbers to-date, and for the defensive line to really get after the Cards’ porous front. Think ‘Ville ends up covering (barely) in garbage time, but Syracuse very much has the game in hand by halftime. With luck, we even get another weird story about a fake quote and a cardboard cutout.
Now it’s your turn...
What will be the outcome of the Syracuse vs. Louisville game?
This poll is closed
Syracuse wins by double digits and we’re 8-2!
Syracuse wins by 1-9 points and we have some questions now
Syracuse loses and things are a lot less cheerful next week