Louisville continued putting up points as they opened ACC play with a 62-28 victory at Syracuse after a record-setting season opener.
Sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Cards offense began this game much like the last one against Charlotte, scoring early with a 72-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver James Quick just 15 seconds into the game.
Jackson would add another three touchdowns before the end of the first quarter, all on the ground, including a highlight-reel hurdle over an Orange defender on his way to the endzone.
Jackson would finish with 199 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
The quarterback had accounted for every Louisville rushing touchdown in the first five quarters of this season, but that changed on a reverse pitch to wide receiver Traveon Samuel who ran it 21 yards for a score.
Senior Brandon Radcliffe added another touchdown on a 48-yard run midway through the fourth quarter to become the first Louisville running back to score this season. Junior running back Jeremy Smith also added a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Although Jackson finished with 411 passing yards, the Cardinal receiving corps did have some issues. Louisville wideouts dropped several passes and were responsible for two of the team’s three turnovers. Senior Jamari Staples led the Cards with 5 catches for 136 yards.
The Cardinal offense racked up 844 total yards against Syracuse, the most the Orange have ever allowed in a game.
Although never letting them within two scores, the Louisville defense had some issues with sophomore Eric Dungey and the fast-paced Syracuse offense. Dungey finished the game throwing 25-51 with 255 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 19 yards and a score.
Many Orange receiving yards came after contact, with Louisville defenders having trouble tackling on some plays. The Card’s D did finish with four sacks and an interception by sophomore cornerback Zaire Alexander. Junior defensive backs Chucky Williams and Zykiesis Cannon led the Cards with eight tackles each.
Louisville did have some turnover issues in the game. The Cards finished with three turnovers, all in the first half, with two receivers giving up the ball and the Jackson interception.
Louisville had some big question marks on special teams going into the season as they were replacing both their entire kicking game, including record-setter John Wallace. Sophomore kicker Evan O’Hara made two out of three field goals, the first of this season.
The Cardinals head home next week to face their toughest challenge of the season against #3 Florida State.<