The months of waiting are over. Tomorrow kicks off the 2022 Syracuse Orange football season. All the talking is done. It’s time to see how this team adapts to the new Robert Anae offense. Can the Syracuse defense contain Louisville Cardinals star quarterback Malik Cunningham? Here’s what our writers think will happen.
Louisville 31, Syracuse 17
I’m of the belief that unless proven otherwise, I don’t expect things to change with Syracuse football. We’ve heard a lot of great things from camp about the improved offense under Robert Anae and Garrett Shrader’s supposed improvement as well. However, until that actually gets fleshed out on the turf, I don’t think the Orange have enough firepower to take out the Cardinals. The defense should be fine, but a familiar formula of short offensive drives leading to a tired Syracuse defense equals Malik Cunningham licking his lips.
Louisville 34, Syracuse 28
I think I’ve changed my prediction on this game about ten times but ultimately I think Malik Cunningham is the difference tomorrow night. Syracuse will hang tough thanks to some better play-calling resulting in an effective passing game. Sean Tucker will catch 5-6 passes and end up with 170+ all-purpose yards and a couple of scores. The Orange defense will do a decent job containing Cunningham’s running, but the focus on him allows the Cardinals’ offensive line to create space up the middle and that’s enough to hold off Syracuse in the opener.
Louisville 34, Syracuse 24
Louisville is a team that SU simply hasn’t been on the same level with, and just switching the game’s geography won’t change that. While I really do think that the Orange offense will be much more competent this year, the Cardinals also improved on both sides of the ball. Cunningham will be near-impossible to immobilize and even if the strategy is to let him take the short gains, that adds a serious risk of tiring the defense out. I also see Yasir Abdullah on Dakota Davis as a mismatch, with the longtime guard getting a “baptism by fire” in his new tackle spot. ‘Cuse keeps it close but is unable to capitalize on enough chances.
Syracuse 31, Louisville 27
Recent history says I’m dumb with this pick. There’s a good chance this is a loss and it’s Syracuse’s “finding themselves” game. But I say screw that. The Orange have the most talented tip to tail group that they’ve had in years, and with a revamped offense a a great deal of defensive returning talent, I’m calling for the upset. Are there some matchups that I really don’t like? Primarily the inexperienced defensive line? Yes. Are there enough positives that I’d like to outweigh the negatives? Also yes.
Now let’s hear yours
Who will win the game between the Syracuse Orange and Louisville Cardinals?
This poll is closed
Syracuse and we’re taking Monday off to celebrate
Louisville and we’re taking Monday off to commiserate