The undefeated Louisville Cardinals got another amazing performance from QB Teddy Bridgewater, but it wasn't enough to overcome an upstart Syracuse team. The Orange stunned their ninth-ranked Big East foe 45-26 on Saturday.
A raucous Carrier Dome crowd was thunderous all game long, and the Orange played its best game of the season in the home finale.
After a tightly contested first quarter in which the game was knotted at 10-10, Syracuse broke it open in the second, outscoring the Cardinals 21-3. But Louisville tried its best to rally before all was said and done.
With 4:37 left in the fourth quarter, Bridgewater tried to keep the Cardinals' faint hopes of a comeback alive. Then, he uncharacteristically floated an ill-advised pass off his back foot that was intercepted by Syracuse LB Dyshawn Davis deep in Syracuse territory to ice the game.
ESPN Stats & Info's tweet from earlier in the day suggesting the Orange had a great chance to win didn't sound so farfetched as the game progressed:
Louisville on Upset Alert? Syracuse has won 3 of its last 5 games against AP ranked opponents. #ULvsCUSE— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 10, 2012
Syracuse racked up over 500 yards of offense thanks to a balanced attack that Louisville had no answers for. Junior signal-caller Ryan Nassib played a fantastic game in his own right opposite Bridgewater, going 15-of-23 for 246 yards and three touchdowns.
The running back combination of Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley was devastating to the Cardinals defense, as Smith ran for over 100 yards and Gulley nearly got there as well.
Suddenly, the Orange are right back in the thick of bowl contention, improving to 5-5. Meanwhile, the Cardinals fall to 9-1 after the best start in program history. But they still have a chance to win the conference title. The road just got a lot more difficult, however.
Louisville will have to snatch a road victory over Rutgers to win the Big East while taking care of business at home against Connecticut in Week 12.