LeFors burns Orangemen

There was little the Syracuse defense could do to stop Stefan LeFors.

LeFors completed 16-of-25 passes while throwing for 266 yards and three touchdowns as Louisville beat Syracuse 30-20 on Saturday.

Lefors' 40-yard-pass to RJ Russell with 9:01 in the first quarter gave the Cardinals a lead they would never relinquish.

Russell burned the SU secondary to the tune of 133 yards on six passes while Eric Shelton punched through the defensive line for 135 yards on 24 carries.

"We're not playing consistently enough," Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni said. "We were back on our heels a little bit. We need to execute better."

Lefor's 24-yard strike to Bush gave the Cardinals a 27-10 lead, but Syracuse seemed ready to make a comeback in the same fashion they did last week when the Orangemen scored 17 unanswered to eventually knock off North Carolina, 49-47.

Johnnie Morant caught a 42-yard pass and Walter Reyes cashed in a 35-yard run to make it 27-17 in the third quarter. Collin Barber added a field goal to close the Orangemen to within seven points.

But Louisville put the game out of reach on a key fourth quarter drive when the Orangemen pinned the Cardinals inside the Cardinals' own six. On a key third and seven, Lefors completed a pass to Russell for eight yards. Louisville eventually converted a field goal, making it 30-20.

"In the second half last week, we made plays," strong safety Diamond Ferri said. "This week (Louisville) made some X factor plays."

"We don't know what the hell is going on," linebacker Rich Scanlon said. "It's my responsibility to get this going. We're not going to let this happen anymore.

The offense didn't fare much better after driving to the Louisville 37. Jared Jones dropped two passes and Walter Reyes bobbled a screen pass from RJ Anderson that led to Syracuse forfeiting the ball on downs.

"A drops a drop," Anderson said. "We didn't answer."

Syracuse hurt themselves by losing two fumbles – both from handoffs. Damien Rhodes fumbled the ball on the Louisville 19 in the second quarter, while Anderson fumbled the ball in an exchange with Rhodes on the Syracuse 32.

"That was unacceptable," SU offensive coordinator George DeLeone said. "That's a basic part of offense."

The loss obscured an otherwise sparkling performance from Anderson and Morant.

Morant caught eight passes for 141 yards, including a 28-yard reception where Morant, despite four different Cardinals trying to drag him down, managed to gain an extra 10 yards after the catch. The senior also added 94 yards in kick returns.

The difference, Morant said, has been "my will to win and my role on this team."

Anderson also shined, throwing for 230 yards, but downplayed his performance.

"My play doesn't' mean anything," Anderson said, "because we lost."

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