The Cardinal Offense will encounter a significantly better unit than it did a week ago when UofL plays Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. A lot of media comes out of Syracuse and a question at press conferences that must be required for graduation seems to be, “Coach, can you tell us just how loud the Carrier Dome is?”
The Carrier Dome is loud. The dome keeps all the noise in and the bleacher & concrete set up reverberates the noise making a capacity crowd (49,250) in the Carrier Dome sound much more prominent than it actually is. As such, Bobby Petrino has pumped the Louisville sound system at Cardinal practices this week.
As for the Xs & Os action, Syracuse was actually a statistically worse Defense than Charlotte was a year ago (Syracuse #99, Charlotte #88) but the Orange did play significantly better opponents. Additionally Dino Barber’s Bowling Green squad gave up 417.8 yards per game last season & 493.6 yards per game a year prior. So there isn’t a great pedigree here to slow Lamar Jackson & Bobby Petrino down on Friday night.
As such, Louisville is anxious to come out of the gates much more polished than in the opener. Syracuse hasn’t set the world on fire rushing the passer of late & also didn’t do a great job of stopping the run OR pass in 2015. Overall Louisville should be able to move the chains for 1st downs and score often. There probably won’t be 8 Touchdowns in a single half, but the Cards should be able to run the ball and throw the ball well enough against a defense that just wasn’t where it needed to be in 2015.
The Orange did have a nice outing vs. Colgate but there needs to be a major course correction if Syracuse expects to change its fortunes against a Louisville team that beat SU 41-17 a year ago and gained 579 yards AND LAMAR JACKSON DIDN’T PLAY.
The coaching staff is new but the larger majority of the veteran players are still essentially the same since last year’s game 10 months ago. We expect Lamar Jackson to have another eye popping performance with a lot of distribution of yards across the roster. Brandon Radcliff had 117 yards on 10 carries a year ago while Jeremy Smith added 71 yards on 13 rushes. Expect more of the same.
The Cards should gain a lot of yards and score a lot of points Friday night vs. Syracuse. If nothing else a slightly tougher defense should set up the Cards for next week’s match-up vs. Florida State.