Louisville surprises Syracuse
Louisville 28, Syracuse 20
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — For Doug Marrone and the Syracuse Orange, getting to a bowl has always been the goal. Just one win away, Syracuse entered its game against Louisville ready to turn that into a reality.
Unfortunately for the Orange, they weren’t able to execute, so their postseason hopes will have to wait at least a week. Justin Burke was 13 of 25 for 143 yards, Jeremy Wright ran for 98 yards and Louisville beat Syracuse, 28-20, on Saturday.
Syracuse came into the game in second in the Big East, surging up the standings against preseason expectations. On this day, Louisville (5-4, 2-2) did everything right to break a 12-game losing streak in road conference games.
“We missed some big plays. We made some, but we didn’t make enough,” Marrone said. “They were pressuring almost every play until the end.”
Ryan Nassib was 19 for 32 for 155 yards for Syracuse (6-3, 3-2).
The Cardinals played without their starting quarterback and running back, both injured during last week’s defeat at Pitt. Neither absence proved to be much of a problem for Louisville. Burke, who had thrown only seven passes this season as a backup, filled in admirably.
“This is a real good Syracuse team,” Burke said. “They’re on the rise just like we are. That was a battle out there.”
Syracuse was in good position to score in the first quarter with the ball at the Louisville 47. Daniel Brown hit Nassib one play later, forcing a fumble that Antwone Canady recovered for Louisville. That set up a 28-yard touchdown run by Wright to give Louisville a 7-0 lead.
“I was a little rusty, as you can imagine,” Burke said. “But when I have a running game like that, I really get into a rhythm.”
Syracuse answered on its next possession when Nassib connected with Alec Lemon for a 51-yard touchdown pass.
As they have been for much of the season, penalties were again a problem for the Orange. Burke’s 29-yard pass to tight end Josh Chichester moved the ball to the 3-yard line, and after a delay-of-game penalty, Burke hit Andrell Smith with an 8-yard touchdown pass for a 14-7 lead.
Delone Carter, who rushed for 107 yards and passed Hall of Famer Floyd Little on Syracuse’s all-time rushing list, tied the score, 14-14, with an 8-yard touchdown run.
Louisville scored two more touchdowns, but Syracuse could muster just a pair of field goals.