An up-and-down season has the Syracuse Orange fighting for their postseason lives heading into Week 11's marquee Big East matchup against undefeated Louisville in the Carrier Dome.
It will be a difficult road test for the Cardinals, but after close calls in recent weeks, they won comfortably over Temple by a score of 45-17 this past Saturday to keep their BCS dreams alive.
Led by one of the best young QBs in college football in Teddy Bridgewater, the Cardinals have been one of the best stories in all of college football in 2012. Syracuse will have the support of its fans in the home finale to play spoiler and likely lock up a bowl bid with two winnable games looming.
For all the viewing information you need to know, as well as what to expect in this clash, proceed further.
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
When: Saturday, November 10 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Listen: Louisville: U of L Network Affiliates
Syracuse: Orange Football on the Radio
Live Stream: Big East On Demand
Betting Line (via Odds Shark): Louisville -2.5
It's a bit of a low line considering the disparity between the two teams. Then again, the Cardinals have had a flair for the dramatic more than few times, and they haven't won a road game by more than 10 points.
Louisville Injury Report
B.J. Dubose, DE (undisclosed) QUESTIONABLE
Charles Gaines, CB (undisclosed) QUESTIONABLE
Neither player was in action for the victory over Temple, and considering the uncertainty about what precise injury each have, it's difficult to say if they'll be ready for this weekend as well.
Syracuse Injury Report
Adonis Ameen-Moore, RB (lower body) DAY-TO-DAY
Ashton Broyld, RB (undisclosed) DAY-TO-DAY
The 6'4", 229-pound freshman Broyld has been in and out of the lineup this year, but neither of these running backs play huge roles in the offense. Whether they play in this game or not, it shouldn't have much of an affect on the Orange's offensive production.
(Note: Injury information found via USA TODAY)
BCS/Top-25 Poll Implications
Based on the most recent BCS standings, Louisville sits in the No. 9 spot, behind a slew of power-conference teams with one and even two losses in some cases. While it doesn't exactly seem fair, the level of competition the Cardinals have faced hasn't been great.
This week won't help them in that regard facing a sub-.500 Syracuse team that really is better than its record indicates. If the Cardinals don't convincingly take care of business, they likely won't move up in any of the polls.
Louisville Player to Watch: QB Teddy Bridgewater
What more can be said about the superb play of the sophomore signal-caller?
After a monster 416-yard performance in an overtime victory over Cincinnati, Bridgewater picked up right where he left off. He completed 19-of-28 passes for 324 yards and five TDs in the blowout of the Owls.
Expect more of the same here from Louisville's QB, who has been their bridge over any troubled water they've encountered this year.
Sorry, I had to.
Syracuse Player to Watch: WR Marcus Sales
The senior receiver has developed a great rapport with QB Ryan Nassib. Sales' 50 catches, 722 yards and seven touchdowns grabs lead the team in all those categories.
Against the 19th-ranked pass defense in the country, Sales will have his work cut out for him. He has been boom or bust all season long, and has cooled off somewhat after posting 100-yard games in his first three outings.
This is definitely the toughest passing offense the Cardinals have faced all season, though. It will be senior night, and Sales should excel in his final game in the Carrier Dome. Look for him to have a huge game.
The clear focus will be the undefeated status of Louisville and whether the Orange can finally put a dent in the Cardinals' record. Only Temple gives up more points than Syracuse does in the Big East, but that should lead to Nassib and the Orange's passing game to excel.
Bridgewater brings just a bit too much firepower to the table. It should be an intriguing QB duel to watch, but look for the Cardinals to squeak by yet again on the road, continuing their storybook run to a potential perfect season.
Points should be in abundance on Saturday afternoon, but Louisville will ultimately outgun the home team.
Final score: Louisville 38, Syracuse 31
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