Paul A. Esden Sr. gives his weekly initial game analysis for the Syracuse football team. This week he previews the big matchup vs the Louisville Cardinals.
The 10th game of the 2018 Syracuse Orange Campaign is against the Louisville Cardinals. Once again I have to address the elephant in the room… the best you could do is a cardinal? Whoa very intimidating ?!? Here’s more on the history of the mascot…
"“The Cardinal Bird is the mascot of the University of Louisville.The Cardinal was chosen as the mascot after 1913, selected because the northern cardinal is the state bird of Kentucky. When the students are feeling very adventurous they call him C.B. (Cardinal Bird). I would try and make this more impressive or detailed … but I cannot. The favorite stunt of C.B. is to skydive (weird for a bird) into Cardinal Stadium to kick off home games.” Too bad C.B., Cuse plays in the Dome you gotta buy a ticket. Now we know…."
We enter this game with our Orange ranked in the top 15 of the USA Today, AP and BCS and the most wins (for a season) that we have had in recent history. ‘The Quest for 6’ has been ACHIEVED.
Now we need to think about the future. Three more games to play, in two of which we will be favored to WIN. The Orange come into this game favored by 21 points, that is not a typo.
The ESPN matchup predictor has us with a 91.9% chance of winning. I am afraid to ask someone to pinch me because I do not want to wake up. But let us not get ahead of ourselves and focus on C.B. and the Louisville football squad.
Let’s get to work by looking this year’s numbers to date:
- Total Offense: SU (15th) vs Louisville (112th)
- Rushing: SU (37th) vs Louisville (119th)
- Passing: SU (28th) vs Louisville (68th)
- Total Defense: SU (97th) vs Louisville (115th)
- Rushing: SU (71st) vs Louisville (127th)
- Passing: SU (111th) vs Louisville (127th)
Key insights for Syracuse:
- This is another TRAP game. The OITNF is hitting on all cylinders 7-2 just outside of the top ten in the nation. Favored by 21 points with another big time ‘Skin’ game on the horizon versus Notre Dame that would almost certainly propel them into the Top 10 with a win. Not to mention the last home game and senior day. Yikes. This game has me sweating like a proverbial whore in church…
- Focus and execute. It is that simple. Focus and execute. One more time, focus and execute. This is a game that we need to win, should win and will win. Dino has taken this team too far, anything else is unacceptable.
- Every concern that this writer identified in the preseason has been answered. Now it is once again time for Orange to take the National stage under the Friday Night Lights on ESPN 2 and shout from the top of the Dome. We have arrived. Time to have the C.B. over for dinner.
Keys insights for Louisville:
- Make no mistake this defense is bad. They are giving up a Louisville school record 6.8 yards per play. Apparently bad coaching has become a family affair as two of Bobby Petrino’s defensive coaches are his sons-in-law. Defensive line and linebackers coached by L.D. Scott and Ryan Beard. The good news is their holiday plans won’t be interrupted by a pesky bowl game this year.
- Almost every statistical category for the year for the Cardinals is half of their opponents. Touchdowns 25 compared to 50, Points per game 21.5 compared to 40.8, Rushing yards given up 1295 compared to 2633.
- I normally quote some players to watch for, but I really can’t. Jawon Pass (cool name for a quarterback) has a 54.5 % completion percentage and has thrown for 1697 yards and 7 TDs, better than I could do but not breaking any records for a school that is used to Lamar Jackson.
So now after I have looked at the numbers, some key insights and now is the time for the prediction. Tune into the Friday Night lights on ESPN 2 or walk up to the dome to cheer on our departing Seniors as this is their final home game; the Orange is Too Fast (OITF you saw it hear first) for the red bird from Kentucky. We win in dominating fashion 55-17. Remember to be loud, be proud, BE ORANGE.