Louisville hosts Syracuse at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Saturday afternoon

Louisville is back home to host an important ACC contest against Syracuse on Saturday afternoon. Cardinal Authority provides a look at some of the pregame news and notes...

Date: Nov. 7, 2015
Game Time: 12:30 p.m.
Location: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
Television: ACC Network
  Play by Play: Tom Werm
  Analyst: Renaldo Wynn
 Sideline: Niki Noto

Weather:

An overcast and cool autumn day is on tap for Saturday afternoon.  The Weather Channel forecasts coulds and temperatures in the mid-50's at kickoff.  A high temperature of 60 is expected.

About the Cardinals and Orange:

  • Louisville enters the game in search of a winning record for the first time in 2015.  The Cardinals have won four of their last five outings, including a 20-19 win at Wake Forest last Friday, to improve to 4-4 overall.  At 3-2 in league play, U of L is third in the ACC Atlantic division.
  • After opening the season with three straight wins, Syracuse has dropped its last five games, including a 45-21 loss at Florida State last weekend. The Orange are 1-3 in ACC games and sits tied with three others for fourth in the Atlantic.
  • Louisville leads the overall series 7-6, including a 28-6 in the Carrier Dome last fall.  Bobby Petrino is 4-0 against the Orange.
  • The Cardinals turnaround has been fueled by the performance of the defense which is limiting opponents to 55.0 yards on the ground and 256.3 yards of total offense in the last five games.
  • U of L junior outside linebacker Trevon Young, who has enjoyed back-to-back three-sack outings, now ranks seventh in the nation with nine total sacks.
  • Through eight games, Syracuse has scored five non-offensive touchdowns, which leads the ACC. It marks the most non-offensive touchdowns that Syracuse has scored in a single season since 1997.
  • The Orange, which ranks No.87 nationally in total defense, will be without three key defenders on Saturday.  Starting linebacker Parris Bennett, defensive end Luke Arciniega and cornerback Corey Winfield are each out with injuries.
  • The Cardinals have held five of their eight opponents to 20 points or less.  Louisville has allowed just 18 touchdown this season, giving up six on the ground and 12 through the air, which is tied for 20th nationally.
  • The Orange defense has recorded three touchdowns in 2015. Senior defensive end Donnie Simmons and sophomore cornerback Corey Winfield each have returned interceptions for scores. Sophomore safety Antwan Cordy returned a fumble 44 yards for a touchdown at Virginia on Oct. 17.
  • Syracuse wide receiver Brisly Estime has returned two punts for touchdowns during the 2015 season. It marks the first time since the 2008 season that Syracuse has recorded two special teams touchdowns in a year.
  • Louisville has allowed opponents to reach the red zone just 15 times in eight games, ranking the Cardinals in a tie with Wisconsin for second nationally in terms of fewest red-zone chances.
  • While Louisville freshman Lamar Jackson continues to develop at quarterback, he is already posting some impressive numbers and chasing school records. He leads the team in total offense with 1,826 yards and 228.2 yards per game. Jackson’s 1,826 yards of total offense ranks second in school history for a freshman, trailing only (Teddy Bridgewater (2,195 in 2011). He currently leads the team in rushing  with 484 yards.

3 Things for the Orange to Win:

  1. Pressure. Attack the Cardinals QB relentlessly.  A successful pass rush has led to Louisville turnovers, as well as many quick three and outs, this season.
  2. Field Position. Should the Orange turn the Cardinals over, they need to convert.  The Cardinals defense doesn't give up much yardage, so providing the offense with short yardage situations will increase scoring opportunities.
  3. Score First.  While scoring first won't assure a victory - Wake Forest led U of L 10-0 before losing 20-19 last weekend - it does improve the odds.  The Cardinals have won four straight when scoring first.

3 Things for the Cardinals to Win:

  1. Defense! Defense! The Cardinals defense has played a large role in the turnaround and must continue to prove itself as one of the nation's best and not allow a struggling Orange offense to sustain drives.
  2. No Freebies. The U of L offense has been its own worst enemy at times, killing drives with penalties, or worse, turnovers.  The Cardinals can't afford to give Syracuse extra chances.
  3. Run. Someone in the Cardinals backfield not named Lamar Jackson needs to find success on the ground to eliviate pressure on the passing game.

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