Louisville (1-0) at Syracuse (1-0)
When: Friday, September 9th 2016
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ESPN2
Two teams that posted easy wins in Week 1 will meet Friday night at the Carrier Dome as the Syracuse Orange host the Louisville Cardinals in the ACC opener for both teams. Quarterback Lamar Jackson’s record setting season debut for Louisville culminated in a 70-14 route of Charlotte. Jackson accounted for eight touchdowns – including six TD passes – in only one half of last week’s win – both of those marks tied ACC records and set new school records. The Cardinals led 56-0 at halftime, and 16 different players ended up catching a pass as the team posted its largest margin of victory in a season opener since 2007. Jackson has led Louisville to a touchdown on each of his last 13 drives, dating back to last season, and has also rushed for 100 yards in six of his 13 career games. The Louisville defense held Charlotte to 0-of-13 on third downs.
Syracuse came away with a 33-7 win over FCS Colgate out of the Patriot League. Colgate reached the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs last season, but were not match for the Orange. Eric Dungey threw for 355 yards and two touchdowns while combining with Zack Mahoney to complete 40-of-46 passes on the day. Amba Etta-Tawo totaled 210 receiving yards and a TD which was more than twice as many catches as the senior had all of last season with Maryland. Lead running backs Dontae Strickland and Jordan Fredericks were held to just 30 yards on 13 carries and must have a better showing against Louisville. The defense held Colgate to just 143 yards of total offense, but failed to create any turnovers. The Orange were blown-out at Louisville last year 41-17 in the midst of an eight-game losing streak.
On paper this looks like a big time blowout, and it could be. It will be harder for Louisville to sustain the kind of energy this week on the road against a better opponent. Syracuse was 6-1 against the spread at home last year including hanging with both LSU and Clemson until they suffered 10 point losses. I’ll take the two touchdowns and a hook in this one.
Pick: Syracuse +14.5