Are we in for yet another loss? Or does Dino have a trick up his sleeve?
The Syracuse Orange are rested and refreshed following a bye week, and hopefully you are too. Better still, if this one goes poorly, at least it’s just on Friday night. That gives you all of Saturday for leaf-raking and apple-picking. Huzzah!
Before Syracuse’s game at the Louisville Cardinals kicks off tonight (at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN/WatchESPN), the TNIAAM staff provides their picks for what’s going to happen in this one. As always, we do not offer cash refunds or exchanges.
Louisville 36, Syracuse 27
With a couple more weeks of study under his belt, JaCobian Morgan should have a better handle on the Orange playbook. The bigger question will be whether the SU defense has a good handle on Louisville’s powerful offense. If they can slow down the Cards at all, then Syracuse actually has a shot against U of L’s own poor defense. Expect something that stays close past halftime due to (Louisville) turnovers, then the Cardinals’ ground game does enough to pick up a win late.
Louisville 31, Syracuse 7
I just don’t have enough faith anymore in this offense to think that they’ll consistently get down the field and develop scoring opportunities. Syracuse looked flat after a bye week already this season, and it’s not out of the question that the team looks even worse than before the bye, much like in the Duke game. As much as the run defense has seemingly improved, SU still hasn’t nullified an opponent’s run game to the point where the opposing quarterback is forced to throw the ball to move the chains. Even though the Cardinals are turnover prone, look for Malik Cunningham to dominate on the ground and for him to avoid throwing to receivers covered by Ifeatu Melifonwu and Garrett Williams. That combination should keep the Louisville turnovers down which results in another rough loss for the Orange.
Syracuse 31, Louisville 27
Barn burner today and I’m putting my “loyal” pants back on. This is one of those predictions that you’re no where convinced on, but want to take one last flyer on the Orange to get it done. An extra week in practice with the ones should help Jacobian Morgan get a better feel for what he’s doing in the role. Without Javian Hawkins, the ‘Ville offense still has weapons in Malik Cunningham and Tutu Atwell, but the latter can hopefully be contained by one of the Orange’s outstanding corner tandem. If the extra week allows some more time for the young safeties and the linebackers to grow a bit more, the Orange pull off the surprise.
Syracuse 27, Louisville 23
Probably too much optimism but the Cardinals are struggling and have to turn around and play on short rest. Meanwhile Syracuse had the bye week to rest, recover and ramp up JaCobian Morgan’s preparation. I look for the Orange to toss out a couple of new wrinkles on offense and ride Sean Tucker in the second half while the defense creates a couple of turnovers and contains Malik Cunningham.
Syracuse 33, Louisville 30
In my 4 things to watch for, I talked about Morgan going deep and I think he and Taj connect several times on the deep ball. While the defense struggles to contain Cunningham, the offense is able to take advantage of a poor Louisville and start a track meet. Szymt is able to give ‘Cuse the edge, and we continue the silly Friday Night energy of ‘Cuse.
Now it’s your turn…