As we countdown to kickoff in September, we’re going to be doing a team-by-team preview each Wednesday over the summer. SU will continue its 2015 ACC schedule when they play Louisville on Nov. 7.
FIVE BATTLING FOR QUARTERBACK JOB: It isn’t particularly newsworthy for a college football team to have a quarterback battle in the offseason. Several of the teams that SU will play this year (LSU and FSU, to name two) had quarterback battles going into spring practice. But Louisville’s may be the most unique in the country because head coach Bobby Petrino is allowing all five of his scholarship quarterbacks to compete for the starting position. There can never be “too much competition” at the signal caller position, Petrino said during ACC kickoff earlier in July. That means when practice resumes, true freshman Lamar Jackson, sophomores Reggie Bonnafon and Kyle Bolin, and juniors Will Gardner and Tyler Ferguson will all be competing for the job. Petrino did mention that he will settle in on a starter two weeks before the season opener.
WHO TO WATCH FOR: Louisville has lost its top three receivers from 2014, but returns junior James Quick. When Quick arrived on campus in 2013, he was one of the most highly touted receivers in the country, and will have an opportunity to build off the 566 yards and three touchdowns from last year. On defense, defensive end Sheldon Rankins returns for his senior season. He was a third-team All-ACC performer last year after finishing with 53 tackles and team-highs with 8.0 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss.
PREDICTION: The Cardinals held Syracuse to just 245 yards and six points last season, and finished with the 24th best defense in the nation at 21.8 points allowed per game. Though seven starters are gone from that unit, Petrino returns an experienced linebacker core and defensive front. LOUISVILLE 28, SYRACUSE 10.