LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (4-4, 1-2) at SYRACUSE ORANGE (6-2, 3-1)
Game Time: Noon
Location: Carrier Dome: Syracuse, N.Y.
Television: Big East Network/WBKI-34
Announcers: Mike Gleason/John Congemi
Favorite: Syracuse by 6 1/2
All-Time Series: Syracuse leads 5-4
Last Meeting: Louisville won 10-9 a year ago in the greatest football game ever played anywhere.
Excitement Level: 7.0
The absence of Bilal - and Froman to a lesser extent - makes a dent here, but a win would still be an enormous accomplishment and a giant step toward the ultimate goal of a postseason game.
Pre-Game Meal: It's looking like I'm going to end up watching this thing alone, so I'll say....pizza?....with a side of longing for human contact?
Game Attire: Titus Teague jersey
Eleven-straight Big East road losses...drastic times.
Predicted Star of the Game: Antwon Canady
Don't ask me to justify this.
Bold Prediction: There is a dispute over whether or not a safety occurred
I SAID DON'T ASK ME TO JUSTIFY THIS.
--Syracuse ranks 13th nationally in total defense. The team has allowed 298.5 yards per game under the direction of defensive coordinator Scott Shafer. The red zone defense is tied for 11th nationally, and the scoring defense ranks 14th.
--Louisville is out-scoring the opposition 115-38 in the second quarter.
--Louisville and Syracuse have split the four meetings in Syracuse, 2-2. Syracuse won the last encounter at Carrier Dome 28-21 in 2008, but the Cardinals defeated Syracuse 28-17 in 2006 for the last victory by Louisville in Syracuse. Louisville has won two of the last three in the Carrier Dome.
--Louisville hasn’t won a BIG EAST game on the road since a 28-24 upset of 15th-ranked Cincinnati in 2007.
--"Everyone knows what our record is. Everyone knows how many wins we have to have to become bowl-eligible. It's in everyone's mind. Yeah, we talk about it. (Bowl eligibility) would be huge for the program. Huge for the community." --Andrew Lewis
--"We have to learn how to play on the road, and we still have not done that.'' --Charlie Strong
--"When you watch them on film, they play hard. When a team plays hard and plays a full game, those teams tend to win.'' --Cameron Graham
--"We’ve just got to keep our head down and keep working. We haven’t really done anything. I mean that." --Doug Marrone
"We have to learn how to play on the road, and we still have not done that. Counting Saturday, we have lost 11 straight games on the road. We have to find a way as a coaching staff where we can get our guys to compete on the road." --Strong
CC Prediction: Syracuse 24, Louisville 10