LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville has come a long way in the last year. After going 2-10 last season, the Cardinals are now bowl-eligible with two games remaining, the first of which comes Saturday against visiting Syracuse.
TV: 4 p.m. ET, ACC Network. LINE: Louisville -10
In his first year as Louisville coach, Scott Satterfield has led an impressive turnaround that most recently featured a 34-20 road win against North Carolina State. Micale Cunningham threw four touchdown passes against the Wolfpack as the Cardinals became bowl-eligible for the ninth time in 10 years. "That was something you're going to remember the rest of your life," said kicker Ryan Chalifoux, who threw a touchdown of his own against NC State. "Being able to be those guys celebrating a win, celebrating Louisville coming through, bouncing back this year, being able to become bowl-eligible. … Being a part of something special, that's a once-in-a-lifetime thing." Syracuse snapped a four-game losing streak its last time out, rolling to a surprising 49-6 rout at Duke last weekend.
ABOUT SYRACUSE (4-6, 1-5 ACC)
Tommy DeVito threw two touchdown passes and ran for another in the win over Duke, while Moe Neal and Jarveon Howard each rushed for 115 yards and a score as Syracuse notched its first win against a Power 5 opponent. “It’s just one game -- that’s all it is, one football game -- but how important a football game it was to us was extreme based on things that have gone on the past two weeks,” said Orange coach Dino Babers, whose team had allowed 93 points over the previous two outings. DeVito has 17 touchdown passes against five interceptions this year, while Trishton Jackson has been his favorite target by far with 53 grabs for 848 yards and nine scores.
ABOUT LOUISVILLE (6-4, 4-3)
Cunningham has 14 touchdown passes and three interceptions this season and has completed at least 59 percent of his passes in every game but one (versus Clemson). He has added five rushing scores, trailing only Javian Hawkins (1,045 rushing yards, six TDs) for the team lead. Tutu Atwell is far and away the team leader in receptions (52), receiving yards (920) and receiving TDs (nine), and the 5-9 wideout is aiming to find the end zone Saturday for the fourth straight game.
1. Louisville had won four straight in the series before falling 54-23 in last year's matchup.
2. Cunningham has five passes of at least 70 yards this season - most in the nation.
3. If Syracuse wins, it will have a chance to become bowl-eligible with a victory versus Wake Forest next weekend.
PREDICTION: Louisville 51, Syracuse 41