Syracuse bowl hopes likely disappear, other fast reactions to SU’s 56-10 loss at Louisville

first_imgLOUISVILLE, Ky. — The fireworks behind the North end zone at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium were practically set to automatic. Backed by reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, Louisville torched Syracuse for five first-half touchdowns and three more in the second half. After every touchdown, fireworks exploded and the Louisville sideline celebrated.On Saturday afternoon, SU lost its fourth consecutive game. Louisville (7-4, 4-4 Atlantic Coast), the No. 16 team in the Preseason Top 25, mauled Syracuse (4-7, 2-5), 56-10. Since halftime last week, Syracuse has been outscored 96-15.Here are three quick reactions to the game.Fourth straight losing season, bowl hopes dissolveThe Syracuse senior class has become the first class since 2009 to graduate without a winning season. It also is unlikely that the Orange gain bowl eligibility even with a win next week against Boston College. SU will finish the season either 4-8 or 5-7 in what will be the Orange’s fourth consecutive losing season. Syracuse, which has not won since upsetting Clemson on Oct. 13, has dropped to 0-7 in the month of November over the past two seasons.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHere we go againOn the first play from scrimmage last year in the Carrier Dome, a 62-28 Louisville victory, Jackson threw a deep touchdown pass. On UofL’s first play Saturday, he ran for 29 yards. Running back Malik Williams ran up the gut for a 46-yard touchdown on the next play.The Cardinals repeatedly found wide open gaps in the SU defense, cruising to a 35-3 halftime lead. Jackson broke the all-time Louisville record for total yards in a career. He also reached 300 total yards — at the half — for the 11th time this season, a school record. And he ran for two touchdowns against the Orange, bumping him to eight rushing TDs this season, which ties his own single-season school record. His final line: 270 pass yards, 111 yards on the ground and four touchdowns total.Missed tackles, blown coverages and poor routes allowed Jackson and the Cardinals to punish the Orange defense. Crossing routes, curl routes and screen passes outmatched Syracuse.Zack Mahoney’s struggles continueA Syracuse quarterback has thrown an interception on the first drive in each of SU’s five road games this year. Mahoney, making his second straight start for injured starter Eric Dungey, was picked off on his fifth pass of the game. The senior finished 5-for-15 with two interceptions and 49 passing yards. Redshirt freshman and third-string QB Rex Culpepper took over in the second quarter, but he threw two picks himself and finished 8-for-19 with 89 yards. Syracuse fell to 1-7 in games Dungey hasn’t started since 2015.Last week, Mahoney appeared to be in command of the SU offense. In his first start of the season, against Wake Forest, he threw for three touchdowns and 297 yards — in the first half. But he threw two second-half interceptions and completed only 11 of his 25 attempts after the break.“When he’s on, we’re capable of scoring a lot of points with him,” SU head coach Dino Babers said this week. “Hopefully we get first-half Zack and not second-half Zack.”Syracuse got the latter. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 18, 2017 at 7:59 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21last_img read more

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