Just like the NCAA football odds predicted, the Louisville Cardinals opened the season by blowing out the Charlotte 49ers 70-14. Now heading into Week 2, the Cardinals will face an ACC rival who also began the season with a blowout, the Syracuse Orange.
The Orange opened the 2016 season by facing the Colgate Raiders, whom they defeated 33-7. This was a great way for Dino Babers to start his tenure with the Orange and right off the bat Babers demonstrated that he is committed to ‘aggressive’ football by attempting three 4th down conversions. Interestingly enough, the Orange were able to convert all three. Babers’s squad finished the day with 580 yards on offense proving that their new head coach is ‘Dino-mite’. Although 554 yards on 81 plays is certainly impressive, it was not enough to face the ACC’s newest head coach who had this to say after the match.
“That will be the slowest game you ever see us play,” Babers stated. “Did you see the paint dry? I did. It will never be that slow again.”
Syracuse’s win was certainly impressive but it pales in comparison to the 10 touchdown rout that Louisville handed Charlotte to start the season. Lamar Jackson was on fire hitting more receivers than one can count and accounted for a school-record 8 touchdowns and 405 yards by the half. At the end of the day, Jackson was able to hit 16 different Louisville receivers, which is a testament to both the depth that Louisville has and Jackson’s ability to spread the love. The Cardinals excelled on both sides of the ball, and while the offensive line seemed shaky at first, they were able to settle down by the 2nd quarter. Louisville ran the score so high that even their second team was able to get some reps on the field. At the end of the day, three different quarterbacks lined up under center, none of whom got sacked.
Whenever you get your second team on the field you can be confident that things are going well. Louisville had that luxury in their season opener, but it’s unlikely they’ll get to enjoy that perk when they face Syracuse. The Orange are entering a new era under Babers. Specifically, Babers is helping them develop their no-huddle offense. The hurry-up spread offense proved to be effective in Syracuse’s opener with Eric Dungey, their starting quarterback, completing 34 out of 40 passes with 355 yards and two touchdowns. The offense performed well, but Babers is convinced there is plenty of ‘room for growth’. Apparently the NCAA football odds agree with him as they have pegged Syracuse as complete underdogs in this matchup.
The fact that Louisville is a better football team makes it hard to argue with the predictions made by the best sporting sites such as SBGGlobal.eu. Their defense has a solid core of players that are capable of rushing the passer, stopping the run, and keeping penalties to a minimum. We’ll have to wait and see how Syracuse’s new hurry-up offense fares against their ACC rival. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time a college team proves the NCAA football odds wrong.
Written by John Hawthorne