Teams: Syracuse Orange (4-6, 1-5) vs. Louisville Cardinals (6-4, 4-3)
Day & Time: Saturday, November 23, 4 p.m. ET
Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Ky.
Line: Syracuse opened as 8.5-point underdogs, and that’s floated up a point in some places
TV/Streaming: ACC Network
Radio: Cuse.com, TK 99/105, WAER 88.3, SiriusXM — Away (972), Home (955)
Louisville blog: Card Chronicle
Rivalry: 10-7, Louisville
Current Streak: 1, Syracuse
First Meeting: The Orangemen sprinted past Louisville, 48-0 back in 1985. In his first start, Don McPherson had four total touchdowns and 152 yards passing. Syracuse was up 38-0 at the half, then coasted en route to what was then the biggest defeat of Cards’ coach Howard Schnellenberger’s career.
Last Meeting: SU took home win No. 8 of the year in a 54-23 romp that was more one-sided than even that score shows. The Orange ran for 326 yards and five scores in the route, taking a 37-7 lead into halftime and never looking back.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Dino Babers (4th Year, 22-25 at SU) | Louisville - Scott Satterfield (1st Year, 6-4 at UL)
Coach Bio: Satterfield played quarterback at Appalachian State from 1991-95, then was back at his alma mater to coach wide receivers by 1998. He left the Mountaineers staff for Toledo in 2009, and after another two years at FIU, Scott was back with App State as the offensive coordinator in 2012. He took over as head coach in 2013, and went 51-24 while transitioning the program from the FCS level to FBS. Three straight Sun Belt titles was enough to get Louisville calling.
Last Year: The bottom fell out for the Cards in part because of Lamar Jackson leaving for the NFL and in part because Bobby Petrino was hiding some flaws behind Jackson’s talent. A rocky 2-1 start was followed by nine straight losses to end the year. Louisville was within a score just twice over that final nine-game stretch.
Last Game: Louisville was down 10-7 at the half to NC State, then scored 20 points in the third quarter to take a commanding lead against a struggling Wolfpack offense. The Cards would win 34-20, surprisingly led by the passing attack.
”Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Javian Hawkins is a small (5-foot-9) but powerful back at 182 pounds, and he’s become the driving force behind this Louisville offense. He’s topped 90 yards in seven of 10 games this season, and has 120 or more on the ground in five of those. On the season, he’s tallied 1,045 yards and six touchdowns running the ball, though he also hasn’t seen the end zone since October.
If Syracuse Wins: ALL ABOARD THE IRRATIONAL CONFIDENCE TRAIN. Syracuse would be 5-6 heading into a season finale against a battered and bruised Wake Forest squad with a questionable defense.
If Syracuse Loses: Oof. There would still be an outside shot at bowling at 5-7 should the Orange beat Wake Forest to close the year. But the miracle comeback wouldn’t feel the same.
Fun Fact #1: Since four straight matchups decided by eight points or less from 2007-10, the last seven games haven’t been any closer than 19 (a 45-26 upset win by SU in 2011).
Fun Fact #2: The Orange haven’t won at Louisville since 2007 — which was then the biggest upset (per pre-game Vegas spread) in college football history.