A quick take on Syracuse’s humiliating 56-10 loss against Louisville on Saturday afternoon:
WHAT HAPPENED: With the Cardinals leading 7-3 after a quarter, Louisville jumped all over Syracuse in the second, steamrolling the Orange for 28 unanswered points to take a 35-3 lead into halftime. Syracuse’s defense looked helpless as Lamar Jackson scampered for a 43-yard touchdown run to start the second quarter, and Reggie Bonnafon followed three minutes later with a 33-yard TD run. After a lightening delay stalled the game for about 40 minutes, Jackson picked up right where he left off, with a 72-yard bomb for a touchdown and another pass to Bonnafon for 34-yards with 55 seconds left int he half to put the game completely out of reach.
ANALYSIS: Dino Babers, now in his second season at Syracuse, has still to win a game in November. Last year, the Orange upset No. 17 Virginia Tech in October, and won just one game the rest of the way. Similarly, this year, SU toppled No. 2 Clemson in October, and has gone winless since then. It didn’t help that Syracuse was without two of its top offensive options on Saturday, with quarterback Eric Dungey and running back Dontae Strickland watching from the sideline. The Orange, now with seven losses on the season, will miss a bowl game for a fourth straight season.
HERO: Who else but Jackson? Last year, he accounted for 610 yards of total offense in a win over SU, setting a school and conference record on the way to the Heisman Trophy. He was spectacular again on Saturday, throwing for 270 yards and two touchdowns, and rushing for 111 yards on the ground and another pair of scores before giving way to backup Jawon Pass in the third quarter.
ZERO: With Dungey out again, Syracuse turned to backup Zack Mahoney and he struggled mightily against the Cardinal defense, throwing two interceptions, while completing just 5 of 15 passes. After his second interception midway through the second quarter, Babers decided to replace him with redshirt freshman Rex Culpepper.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange wraps up the regular season, and barring a five-win team getting an invitation to a bowl game, its 2017 season, hosting Boston College on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 12:20 p.m. TV: ACC Network.