Louisville begins ACC play on Friday evening when it visits Syracuse in what will be the 15th meeting between the two programs. Former conference mates in the Big East, the Cardinals have a 4-3 series lead over the Orange in games held in the Carrier Dome.
Syracuse is under the direction of first-year head coach Dino Babers, who compiled a record of 37-16 as a head coach at both Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green. Babers has installed a more fast-paced offense that seeks to snap the ball almost as soon as it's placed in play, which helped fuel the Orange's 33-7 season-opening win over FCS foe Colgate. In fact, his prior teams have a 17-0 overall record when holding opponents to less than 20 points. Possibly even more impressive is that those teams are 35-2 overall when opponents score under 40 points.
LOCATION: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY (50,000)
DATE: Friday, September 9
KICKOFF: 8:00 p.m.
RADIO: 840 WHAS AM; 790 WKRD; SIRIUS Ch. 132; XM Ch. 194
Play-by-Play: Adam Amin
Analyst: Mack Brown
Reporter: Molly McGrath
- U of L has played in the Carrier Dome three times under the guidance of head coach Bobby Petrino and have averaged 28.6 points per game and are 3-0.
- The Cards have won the first two meetings as ACC foes; Louisville won 41-17 last season at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
- Head coach Bobby Petrino is 5-0 all-time against Syracuse.
- Nine Cardinals found the end zone in the opener, which comes just four shy of the total of Cardinals that scored at least one touchdown in the 2015 season. It was most since nine players scored in the 72-0 win over FIU in 2011.
- The 663 yards of total offense U of L recorded against Charlotte is the eighth time in Bobby Petrino’s career at Louisville that he team has eclipsed the 600-yard mark.
- The Cardinals are 4-4 on the road as ACC members.
- The Cardinals are 15-17 all-time in league openers.
- Syracuse owns a 14-11 overall record in conference openers in program history.
- The Orange own an even 9-9 overall mark in home conference openers.
- The Orange have only hosted two weekday contests, losing both. However, SU has won all of their other weekday games, holding an overall record of 10-2.
- In three of Babers' four years as a head coach, the offense ranked in the top 10 nationally in total offense, including in 2013 when his Eastern Illinois squad led all of Division I (FBS and FCS) with 8,253 yards.
- For the first time in program history, two ‘Cuse receivers notched at least 10 receptions in a game. Junior Ervin Philips matched the school record with 14 catches, while redshirt senior Amba Etta-Tawo had 12 receptions against Colgate.
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QB Lamar Jackson: Playing in just the opening half, Jackson put up numbers that has lifted his name into early Heisman talk. Jackson tossed for 286 yards and six touchdowns, while also rushing for 119 yards on the Cardinals blowout victory over Charlotte.
LB Keith Kelsey: Cardinals senior linebacker will need to quick in his directing of the squad while on the field. The experienced Kelsey totaled six stops last weekend.
S Josh Harvey-Clemons: The Cardinals safety could see additional snaps closer to the line of scrimmage in an effort to slow down Syracuse's fast-paced offense. Playing most in the first half last weekend, the Georgia-native recorded five tackles against Charlotte.
QB Eric Dungey: The 6-foot-3 sophomore did well leading the new up-tempo offense, throwing for 355 yards and two touchdowns in season-opening victory over Colgate.
WR Amba Etta-Towa: A graduate transfer from Maryland, where he totaled 61 catches for 938 yards, started 2016 with numbers that if equaled throughout the season would better his totals from his prior three years. The 6-foot-2 receiver hauled 12 receptions for 210 yards and a touchdown.
DL Chris Slayton: Redshirt sophomore played in all 12 games last season, starting five, and earned multiple Freshman All-American accolades. A 2016 preseason Fourth Team All-ACC selection by Phil Steele, Slayton began the season. He recorded a pair of sacks in the Orange's season-opening win.
Syracuse head coach Dino Babers on Louisville QB Lamar Jackson:
"He reminds me of all the good ones. He can throw a football. He's extremely accurate. He has fantastic speed. He gets into the open field and is like a dangerous running back or dangerous wide receiver in space. And he gets to touch the ball every single snap that they're on offense. He's just a fabulous player."
Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham on ACC road games:
"Anytime you play on the road in this league, anything can happen, so we know we need to bring our game."