Syracuse Orange v. Louisville Cardinals Predictions

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Syracuse's defense stops North Carolina in the first half. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

Syracuse is ranked in the top 15 the first time since 1998, and will try to keep its momentum when it hosts its final regular season game at the Dome on Friday night against Louisville. Ahead of the game, The Juice Online’s Brad Bierman and Wes Cheng gave their predictions for the game.

BRAD BIERMAN (Season Predictions, 7-2): Haven’t the last two games against Louisville been downright awful for those in Orange Nation?

Having to watch Lamar Jackson leap over poor former Orange DB Cordell Hudson (now at Middle Tennessee State) on route to making it look easy with 610 yards of total offense and five touchdowns in the first half of a 62-28 shellacking in the Dome in 2016 on route to a Heisman Trophy, and last year in the miserable weather at the ‘Ville Jackson accounted for “only” 381 yards and four scores in a 56-10 rout.

The good news for the Orange is Jackson is now turning heads this preseason on the roster of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, and he’s taken all of his offense and success with him. Louisville is mired in one of its worst seasons in recent history, with the Cardinals winless in the ACC and head coach Bobby Petrino likely brushing up his resume for his next position with former Louisville quarterback and current Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm likely to take over after this season.

Replicating how the Florida State game played out in the first quarter, the Orange come into this Friday night nationally televised game ready to protect “Our House” and thanks to long Dungey-led drives in each half, the Orange gets a Friday night win this season beating Louisville 41-27 to pick up its eighth win of the regular season, a feat not replicated since 2001.

» Related: Fill the Carrier Dome on Friday for Syracuse football

WES CHENG (Season Predictions, 6-3): The statistics are fairly straight forward when it comes to turnovers for both of these teams. Syracuse takes care of the ball; Louisville does not.

The Orange comes into its Friday night tilt fifth in the nation in turnover ratio, averaging a +1.33 per game. Louisville is on the exact opposite side of the spectrum, second to last in the FBS, with a -1.22 turnover deficit per game.

It starts at quarterback, where Jawon Pass has thrown 10 interceptions to seven touchdowns compared to his counterpart, Eric Dungey, who has a 13:4 TD to INT ratio.

That has led to an abysmal season for the Cardinals, who suffered one of the most humiliating defeats of the season last week against Clemson. The Tigers walloped Louisville, hanging 77 points while gaining nearly 700 yards.

And it isn’t just the passing game that has hindered the Cardinals offense. They are rushing for just 112.8 yards per game, which ranks 119th in FBS play.

That has all the makings of a revenge game for the Orange, and with the spread favoring SU at -21.5, I’m not going to stray from that. Syracuse 42, Louisville 21.

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Instant Juice: Syracuse 54, Louisville 23
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