Somehow, but not surprisingly, when people talk about the BCS Championship race between the four undefeated teams at the top, the Louisville Cardinals get little to no consideration. As the Cardinals sit at 9-0 (4-0), with the No. 9 ranking in the BCS standings, head coach Charlie Strong is encouraging his team to play with a chip on their shoulder. Not because They are trailing four SEC teams with one and two losses, but because he doesn’t want his team to get complacent if they so happen to find a home at the top five in the standings.
UL is coming off an almost flawless performance against the Temple Owls, so it would be very easy to overlook the Syracuse Orange as another Temple and get caught looking ahead to their season finale against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Strong’s message to his team is necessary, especially for a team fighting for respect.
When Louisville has the ball, the match-up between sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and a Syracuse defense that ranks 40th nationally against the pass should be an interesting one to watch. Syracuse actually held Matt Barkley and The USC Trojans to just 167 passing yards, but gave up six touchdowns. Bridgewater has thrown for 2,434 yards and 18 TDs with only four interceptions, has a 70.4-percent completion rate, and is ranked fifth nationally in passing efficiency.
When Syracuse has the ball, Keep an eye on quarterback Ryan Nassib who hasn’t thrown an interception in three games and has two receivers in Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales that take a lot of pressure off Nassib. Lemon has averaged a little over six catches and 100 yards over the last three games as well.
Louisville needs to be careful on the road against a team that is fighting for bowl eligibility. The Cardinals on the road this season have been an inconsistent team as they have been outscored 52-43, but have been a much different team in the third quarter, outscoring opponents 31-0. The Cardinals are the better team, but both teams have something to play for, so emotions will be high.
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