Syracuse, N.Y. — Syracuse football hosts Louisville at 7 on Friday night, when it will try to finish the season with an unblemished home record for the first time since 2001.
Here are five reasons the Orange will extend its ACC winning streak to four games and keep its major bowl hopes alive for another week, as well as five reasons Louisville can grab its first conference victory of the season and spoil Senior Night in Syracuse.
Video: Eric Dungey Interview | Week 10
After three straight four-win seasons, the senior class is in position to give Syracuse its most wins in a regular season since 2001.
Countdown Q&A-Week 11, Syracuse
Many of the seniors being honored Friday night have been multi-season contributors, have truly gone from the basement of the Atlantic Coast Conference to, at minimum, earning the national respect theyve coveted since their arrival.
For a team that has tried to stay grounded week to week, there will be no looking past Louisville toward greater opportunities.
One key member of that senior class is quarterback Eric Dungey, who has dealt with challenges every season hes been here only to come out on the other end with more than 10,000 yards of offense and more than a dozen school records to his name.
“Hes the dude,” senior linebacker Ryan Guthrie said. “He gets the job done. Hes the best competitor Ive ever been around, and I dont want any other quarterback in the nation to lead the team.”
All he has wanted to be known as is a winner, and there will be no better final impression he can leave on the home crowd than a victory against the Cardinals.
When Eric Dungey was at his lowest, family helped him lock in, go to work
Dino Babers flashed the scores and yardage totals from previous games against Louisville on the projector in the team room earlier in the week.
When hes healthy and playing at the top of his game, Dungey is an electrifying player and a spark for the rest of the Orange (on both offense and defense) with his fearlessness and competitiveness. Having him on the field means occupying an extra defender to stop him from running, potentially opening up holes in the defense, too. Despite the ground game looking better overall this year, hes still our best rusher and the need to respect his legs does seem to open up opportunities for other ball-carriers.
It has been a one-sided series since the Cardinals joined the Orange in the ACC in 2014. Louisville has outscored SU 187-61 in those four meetings.
If you get into a sure passing down situation, youre going to face a ton of pressure from our front four, and that helps us stop teams from exploiting our biggest weakness: downfield coverage by the secondary. The longer teams have to throw, the more likely theyre going to hit us for big gains through the air, so weve tried to skip that second part this year, and just force quick releases as much as possible. If your lines up to the task of some extra pass protection, it could be beneficial.
This year, Louisville has been the ones getting humiliated, surrendering 77 points at Clemson a week ago.
Louisville football is crumbling, and things could get worse Friday
Syracuse can exorcise a lot of bad memories on Friday night — and maybe help hand coach Bobby Petrino his walking papers.
Louisville at No. 13 Syracuse (-21): Coach Dino Babers squad is having a pretty good season in an otherwise down year for the ACC. One of the reasons its a down year is because of the dumpster fire that is Louisville. As if the on-field news isnt bad enough, a report came out on Wednesday saying that 20 players have asked for the paperwork needed to transfer. They only reason Bobby Petrino is still coaching this team is because his buyout is too big — for now. Pick: Syracuse (-21)
A big reason Syracuse got blown out the past two seasons was the presence of Lamar Jackson, a generational talent at quarterback for the Cardinals.
Which Syracuse Orange football records could still fall this season?
Hes earning a paycheck in Baltimore these days, and while Jawon “Puma” Pass may have a smoother nickname, he does not bring the electricity Jackson brought (few players can).
Purdue at Minnesota (O/U 58): I rarely pick an over/under line for a best bet, but I couldnt resist. The way Minnesotas defense has been giving up points in conference play — 41.6 per game, including over 50 to Nebraska and Illinois — and the way Purdue is lighting up scoreboards, the Boilermakers may get the over by themselves. They wont need to, though. The Gophers have enough offense to chip in too. Pick: Over 58
Babers liked to quip his defense didnt think the Heisman Trophy winner was human. That psychological hurdle wont need to be cleared Friday night.
Syracuse recruiting round-up: Orange hoping to make gains soon
Share Share Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email —Spread check (basketball): Louisville by 19.
Bruce Feldmans Week 11 college football picks
2018-19 Season Opener See ya tomorrow Card Nation Get it ROCKING! #GameDayGif pic.twitter.com/vCsCnQ47GC
Syracuse wearing classic home uniforms vs. Louisville for Senior Day
—No matter how bad it gets for Louisville, Hassan Hall and Tutu Atwell seem intent on doing all they can to carry the team as freshmen.
Syracuse football vs. Louisville: See our picks, make your predictions
—Louisville is the early leader to land the services of Jamal Mashburn Jr., who posterized a 7-footer the other night.
Eighty-five days later, about 30,000 fans again gathered in the Dome to watch the final game of the slog that was the 2015 season. The result of that contest was a surprising 20-17 victory over Boston College. An unexpected outcome because SU finished the campaign 4-8 after starting out 3-0, and because it was announced prior to the finale that head coach Scott Shafer wouldnt be back the following season.
Donovan Mitchell and Darrell Griffith interviewed together for the first part of postgame media. Lot of fun. Part one: pic.twitter.com/lKYI1iuEFm
At the time, the football program was suffering from a nearly fatal combination of poor play, questionable-to-abysmal coaching and fan ambivalence. Despite a couple of saintly achievements under Doug Marrone (bowl victories in 2010 and 2012), Syracuse was seemingly stuck flat-lining in perpetuity. Fans, meanwhile, were past feeling anger, many of them just stopped caring.
—In his weekly mail bag, Sports Illustrateds Andy Staples examines what the future may hold for Louisville and Jeff Brohm.
From Dan: It seems like a done deal that Jeff Brohm is going to Louisville. Im holding out hope that a guy wouldnt want to go put out a tire fire like UL right after spending two years fixing a tire fire at Purdue. Am I being unrealistic?
This is the opposite of all the tweets I got last year from Mississippi State fans guaranteeing Dan Mullen wouldnt leave. Our Dan here has resigned himself to a Jeff Brohm departure to Brohms hometown/alma mater, and thats probably a good baseline to keep in this situation.
But Im not sure its a fait accompli quite yet for the reason Dan mentioned. Louisville is a messy situation right now because of all the upheaval in the athletic department after the basketball scandal(s), and Brohm has turned Purdue into a pretty good situation.
First, Louisville would need to do something with current coach Bobby Petrino. That should happen sooner rather than later, because Petrinos buyout goes up next year and it seems the Cardinals have pretty much quit this season. There is no indication theyll be any better next year or that the current staff will actually try to make them better. So unless Louisville is cash poor because its creating a war chest to deal with former basketball coach Rick Pitinos lawsuit (which Louisville should prevail in anyway), then the Cardinals need to make a change.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Brooks does not have a composite ranking, but is rated three stars by 247Sports.com and slotted as the No. 2 overall prospect from the New York. A senior at Lockport High School, Brooks has also been offered by Central Connecticut State and Monmouth. He said hes receiving interest from Rutgers and Sacred Heart.
The next logical question is whether Louisville is a better job. Not at this precise moment, but it would immediately become the better job with a coach like Brohm. The Cardinals are capable of recruiting the kind of players who can win the ACC. And if you can win the ACC, you can make the playoff. If you can make the playoff, you can win the national title. Two years ago, Louisville was six points away from eventual national champion Clemson. Had the Cardinals won that game, they probably would have won the ACC.
The ceiling is higher at Louisville. Thats a big deal. The ceiling at Purdue, however, is not as low as most people think. The Boilermakers are still mathematically alive for the Big Ten West title this year, and keeping a coach like Brohm probably would make them competitive for the West title every year. Would they be able to beat the beasts of the East? Maybe not every year, but this Purdue team did just beat Ohio State by 29.
If Louisville fires Petrino and can convince Brohm that the athletic department can stabilize going forward, he could live in his hometown, compete for titles and coach there as long as he wants. But if the department still seems shaky, hes better off staying at Purdue, making the Boilermakers better and waiting for a job at a perennial national title contender to open.
—Chris Mack wants to see a packed house and a raucous environment at the KFC Yum Center this season.
Its one thing that Louisville is a dumpster fire. Its a whole other thing that the Cardinals match up poorly with Syracuse. Bobby Petrinos team hasnt had a running back go over 100 yards all season. That shouldnt scare Syracuse. Quarterback Jawon Pass has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns, and I expect the Orange secondary to shine in this one. On offense, Syracuse will have its way on the ground. Id be surprised of Eric Dungey didnt break 100 yards on the ground. The only way this is close is if the Orange come out flat. I dont see that happening in front of a Carrier Dome crowd that is going to be juiced. Were about to see why Louisville might pay Petrino 14 million dollars to go away.
Good luck to @CoachChrisMack and @LouisvilleMBB tonight in the opener. Just make sure youre ready for @KKcards to take an impromptu picture after the W. #kennyloveshispictures
—On Tuesday, Duke delivered what was probably the most impressive debut performance in the history of college basketball.
—Speaking of debuts, Cincinnati busted out the fully renovated Fifth Third Arena for the first time last night. Unfortunately, the Bearcats dont appear to be able to shoot any better inside the building than they did before the renovation, and they lost to Ohio State.
—Mark Schlabachs latest ESPN report on the FBI madness once again mentions V.J. King, and also name-drops Ray Spalding for the first time.
That night, Dungey went out to dinner with his mother, grandparents and step-aunt. Most of his days in season, he is bombarded with football talk. It follows him around campus and often with casual acquaintances, making it a rare topic of conversation around family and in his apartment with his roommates, who prefer to watch movies, do homework and shoot the bull over whatever grabs their attention.
• Dawkins proposed paying Louisville forward Spalding $2,000 per month from October 2017 to December 2017, then $3,000 per month until April 2018. He also planned to pay King $2,000 per month from October 2017 until April 2018, although he noted it will be a messy situation in my opinion.
Spalding left for the NBA draft following the 2017-18 season and was a second-round pick of the 76ers.
Our university continually reviews the eligibility of all of its student-athletes, a Louisville spokesman told ESPN. We have reviewed information recently presented at the trial in New York and do not believe it affects any of our current student-athletes. We will continue to monitor any new information that becomes available.
“Your poise and grace under pressure was truly inspired. Your praise of DeVito and your acknowledgement of your responsibility was mature and showed the type of grace and goodness that you have always, always possessed. I love you and believe you are capable of anything you put your heart and mind to. Keep being who you are … and doing what you do.”
Its hard for me to see the NCAA being able to do anything based solely off of one guys plan to pay a bunch of players, but who knows. Whatever.
—The LA Rams have signed Trevon Young to their practice squad. The Rams released Young from their active roster earlier this week.
Jaire Alexander has been the top rookie cornerback in the NFL so far this season. pic.twitter.com/HSFnZCzMLr
—Its been a long, injury-filled road for Syracuses Eric Dungey, who is thriving for the Orange in his senior season.
—Shoutout to the 1-0 Blue Demons, who took care of Bethune-Cookman in DOMINANT fashion last night.
Sorry @CardChronicle @gocardsmama but we were on a college visit and couldnt watch Clemson storm the field. #GOCARDS pic.twitter.com/mD4Xl1Ucdp
—The man who took the Breeders Cup joyride has been ordered to have no contact with Churchill Downs.
—Clemson Sports Talk marvels at the distance the program has put between itself and Florida State and Louisville.
—Each member of the staff over at Syracuse.com likes the Orange over Louisville BIG tomorrow night.
: Louisville will host 2020 four-star & top-50 prospect Dimingus Stevens for an unofficial visit today, source told Stockrisers.Will be in attendance at tonights game as well. pic.twitter.com/psho2xCM8u
—Horse Racing Nation has an update on former U of L kicker Matt Nakatani, who has started a new career as a jockey agent.
—The U of L womens soccer team is off to Knoxville to take on Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
—Its USL Cup day, as Louisville City FC hosts Phoenix Rising FC at Lynn Stadium. Lets keep the Cup home, boys.
—Im solo on the radio today talking the start of college hoops season, football rumors and taking your calls at 571-7900. Ill also have mens soccer coach Ken Lolla on at 4:05 to talk about last nights win over Wake Forest and Sundays championship game against North Carolina.