Louisville, predictably, destroyed a hapless Charlotte team last week in their season debut. It’s one thing to route a school like Charlotte, 70-14, but do it against higher competition and it will garner a few head turns in their direction. Syracuse is not a top-tier competitor, but they are a jump up in competition from Charlotte. Playing at the Carrier Dome on a Friday night presents a different dynamic for the Louisville Cardinals tonight. The Orange have had this game circled on their calendar all summer long. After a stroll in the park against Colgate, Syracuse plays that game tonight.
How much preparation did Syracuse do for Colgate? You have to think that they spent more time looking at the Cardinals for their Week 2 matchup over the summer, than they did watching game film on Colgate. I know there is at least one team in college football that wishes they spent more time watching their Week 1 opponent. Hello Mississippi State.
Syracuse University is not going to be the most talented team Louisville plays in 2016. This is what would be known as a potential trap game. The Cardinals have a worthy opponent on deck the next week, the Florida State Seminoles. This is one of those classic look ahead games that people like to talk about in college football. For kids that are 18-22 years old, it’s easy for them to get a little antsy and look to the next week, instead of focusing on the task at hand at the moment.
It can even happen to the best teams, like Alabama. Often you’ll see them sputter against inferior opponents and go through the motions. They still win those games pretty easily, but covering the big spread is another matter in itself for them. They look in control, but not their dominating themselves. Now, for a team that doesn’t have Alabama talent, sometimes it can come up to bite them and it results not only in a loss on the cover, but a loss straight up.
For the Cardinals to cover the 14.5 points in this spot, Bobby Petrino has to drill it in their heads to focus on Syracuse this week. If Louisville comes in prepared and focused, they’ll make it look easy against The Orange. However, come in with the Noles on their minds and it could turn into a tricky test at the Carrier Dome.
Louisville Cardinals vs. Syracuse Orange NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Syracuse +14.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Louisville vs. Syracuse Pick:
Week 1 of college football, and the last couple of days on the baseball diamond for that matter, has made me want to throw my cell phone or the nearest object around me at the TV. We were fortunate to be on the winning side of the biggest comeback in Florida State history on Monday night, and hope to ride that into a big Week 2 in college football. Week 1 has notoriously been my worst week on the schedule, with a few unknowns with the addition of players who were playing in high school just a few months ago. Nevertheless, I was definitely high on Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is going to turn into one of the best in college football.
Jackson has the ability to dice defenses up with his arm, but the way he is able to gallop on the ground has him looking like the most electrifying quarterback in college football. He has a lot of room to develop, so I expect him to blossom into the next Teddy Bridgewater at Louisville. Jackson does not possess that kind of arm strength yet, but we’ll see how he comes along. Syracuse is going to have problems with Jackson and the Cardinal offense tonight, I can assure you that. Jackson concluded Week 1 with 6 touchdown passes on 17 of 23 passing. He also added 2 more touchdowns on the ground with 119 yards, for a grand total of 8 against Charlotte.
Eric Dungey is making his second year as the starter at Syracuse. Dungey passed for 1,298 yards and 11 touchdowns with 5 interceptions last season. He also rushed for 541 yards and 5 touchdowns. Syracuse is operating out of a brand new offense this season, an offense that aims to go fast and pile the points up. The former head coach of Bowling Green, Dino Babers, is here at Syracuse to try and emulate the success he had in the MAC. That Bowling Green offense could put points on the board in a hurry, something he is going for at Syracuse.
Dungey went 34 of 40 through the air and hit for 355 yards with 2 touchdowns against Colgate. Do you think Syracuse kept the playbook kind of closed in their first game? I would think so. Unless Babers isn’t too smart, The Orange didn’t open the playbook up to keep Louisville on their toes. I suspect that the Cardinals have been watching Bowling Green tape from a year ago, too. This game might have backdoor city written all over it. The spread is pretty sharp in this matchup. The offenses should rule the night in this one, with the OVER 68 cashing us a ticket in Week 2 on Friday night.
PICK: OVER 68 POINTS (-110)