Football Bye-Week Theater: Louisville vs. Syracuse Preview


As Boston College football meanders through this bye week, we look at other games going on in the Atlantic Coast Conference. We preview Louisville vs. Syracuse on Friday night.

If Louisville vs. Syracuse was a basketball game, it would be a big deal. Not too long from now, Rick Pitino and Jim Boeheim will meet again on the court of battle as ACC members.

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As a football game, it is only mildly interesting.

Louisville vs. Syracuse: The Line

The Cardinals are 2.5-point favorites on the road at Syracuse. This is down from 6.5 points at opening.

Louisville vs. Syracuse: You Shall Not Pass

Louisville’s defense is in the top 20 nationally against the pass, allowing only 167 yards through the air per game. They are also in the top 15 in FBS in opposing passer rating. Then again, they have played Wake Forest so that’s factored into the stats.

The Cardinal defense so far has been quite good overall, not allowing more than 23 points in any game. Those 23, by the way, came in their only loss against Virginia.

This bodes somewhat ill for Syracuse, whose passing offense is suspect. In four games, Terrel Hunt has only one touchdown through the air, yet coming up with six on the ground. They’re more like Boston College in that they end up rushing it quite a bit more than passing it, and also like the Eagles, their quarterback is their leading rusher.

Louisville vs. Syracuse: Trending Down

The Orange have played better opposition in the last two weeks, Maryland and Notre Dame, and they lost both. Somehow, Syracuse managed almost 600 yards of offense against the Terps and still lost by two touchdowns. Against the Irish, they were +4 in turnovers and messed that one up, too, since their offense could not break down Notre Dame, who to be fair are very good.

Most of us recall the Orange needing a miracle to beat Villanova in Week 1 in double overtime. They have only had one solid win, and it was against a lousy Central Michigan squad. The point trying to be made is that Syracuse has looked at best mediocre.

Louisville vs. Syracuse: The BC Connection

Boston College plays Louisville in their second-to-last home game on November 8. They then play Syracuse in their last home game on November 29; by then, the Eagles could need it to make a bowl game.

Louisville vs. Syracuse: Advantages

Louisville’s offense is alright and Syracuse’s defense is likewise alright; that looks about even. The Cardinals will probably win the matchup between their defense and the Orange offense.