Ahead of the Syracuse football game Friday night against the Louisville Cardinals, we sat down with the enemy. We sat down with our sister site, the Big Red Louie, and asked 5 questions to Site Expert Derek Snyder.
Sep 1, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino reacts with one on his players after a touchdown against the Charlotte 49ers during the second half at Papa John
The Syracuse football team is 1-0 heading into their first ACC conference game of the year. Spirits are high and so are expectations, but the Louisville Cardinals are a different animal.
The Cardinals are ranked 13th overall nationally and many expect them to be in the conversation for the College Football Playoff. Much of that attribution is due to, Lamar Jackson, the athletic starting quarterback for the Cardinals.
Despite the two touchdown betting line for the Cardinals, many expect this to be a competitive game. So we decided to get the Cardinals perspective on the Orange heading into this one.
So we sat down with our sister network, the Big Red Louie, to get the pulse of this game. A huge thanks to Site Expert, Derek Snyder, for sitting down with us.
Sep 1, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball past Charlotte 49ers linebacker Carl Yonter (47) for a touchdown during the first quarter at Papa John
Paul Esden: The Louisville Cardinals are ranked 13th in the country and it seems like they have all the tools for a potential ACC title run, how good can this Louisville team be this year?
“There has been a lot of buzz coming into this season for Louisville. It’s been pretty awesome to see the expectations for Louisville rise on a national scale over the past few weeks and that mostly has been because of Sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson.”
“They have a ton of leadership returning on this year’s team, especially on the defensive side of the football where Devonte Fields is set to have another huge season. While they do have the tools to make an ACC title run, they will need to prove that they are able to beat Clemson and/or Florida State this season.”
“The Cardinals have played Clemson close the last two years, but haven’t been able to win the game in the final minutes. Those two games are going to determine whether they can make it to the ACC Championship and maybe the College Football Playoff. However, I think that a New Year’s Six Bowl is more likely for this Louisville football team.”
Nov 22, 2014; South Bend, IN, USA; Louisville won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Esden: You guys lost a key piece to your defense when Sheldon Rankins left for the NFL Draft and ended up being a top-15 draft pick, how good is DeAngelo Brown and can he help fill the void on defense?
“DeAngelo Brown is one of the strongest players for Louisville this season in every aspect of the word. In Louisville’s 3-4 defense, he will be the anchor for the Cardinals all season long.”
“He is so much stronger than any offensive lineman he will face this season, it will come down to a matter of how to slow him down, rather than shut him down. With that being said, Sheldon Rankins was a very special player and the staff has noted that they aren’t going to try and fill his void by using one player. They will use a rotation of guys in order to wreak havoc on the offensive line.”
Jul 22, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino speaks with the media during the ACC Football Kickoff at Westin Charlotte. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Esden: Bobby Petrino signed a 10-year contract extension with Louisville back in 2006, “telling the world that he wasn’t going anywhere”, yet he left. Has everything been smoothed over the second time around? Or is there still some hostility?
“There were definitely some raw emotions around Louisville whenever Petrino exited for the Atlanta Falcons. The program dropped off a bit until Teddy Bridgewater and current Texas head coach Charlie Strong led the Cardinals to a Sugar Bowl win over the Florida Gators.”
“There was definitely some hesitation around the area whenever Petrino first came back, but I wouldn’t say it was too much of a surprise. Between the Arkansas and Louisville job he was the head coach at Western Kentucky, which is only an hour and a half from Louisville.”
“Therefore, there was definitely speculation that he was going to come back when Charlie Strong was being connected with the Texas opening. Louisville AD Tom Jurich did his homework and due diligence in meeting with Petrino the second time around. People in the organization believed that he changed as a person, there hasn’t been a complaint in Louisville since.”
Sep 2, 2016; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey looks on following the game against Colgate at the Carrier Dome Syracuse defeated Colgate 33-7. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Esden: If you were to build a gameplan for Syracuse to beat Louisville, what matchups would you exploit? And what would have to go right for the Orange to get the victory?
“I think that it’s a matter of execution for Syracuse in this game. There have been reporters who believe that the key to Louisville winning is keeping the Syracuse offense off the field.”
“While that is true, I also feel that is highly important for the Orange to keep Lamar Jackson off the field. It may be a little difficult because of the tempo that they want to play at, but if they can continually execute on early downs, Louisville’s defense should get tired in the second half.”
” Slowing down Louisville’s pass rush will also be key. In the Colgate game, there were a lot of shorter routes that got the ball out of Eric Dungey‘s hands pretty quick. That will be important in neutralizing a guy like Devonte Fields.”
“The worst thing that Syracuse can do on Friday is to repeatedly go three and out, which is a danger for a team running the no-huddle if they aren’t able to execute. The best thing that can happen for Syracuse is if they can force Lamar Jackson into turning over the football.”
” He had a problem with turnovers his freshman season, it would be interesting to see how he would handle that on the road in front of a hostile Syracuse crowd. If they can do that, look for Syracuse to hang around and potentially pull off the stunning upset.”
Jul 22, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino sits with quarterback Lamar Jackson during the ACC Football Kickoff at Westin Charlotte. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Esden: Finally lets address the elephant in the room, Bobby Petrino has made some interesting comments in the leadup to the game. What do you make of (the comments) being on the other side of the fence?
“I understand how it came across as being petty for Bobby Petrino to make those comments. However he has always been one to do his due diligence. People are going to have varying opinions on this. I think it shows that there is concern on how successful Syracuse’s offense could prove to be against Louisville.”
“They have extremely high expectations this season and losing to Syracuse, could potentially be a season-killer for the Cardinals. I don’t blame him for looking into it because they’d love nothing more than to slow down that Babers offense.”
“It’s not going to be an easy of a game as most people are making it out to be. Some people may see it as good coaching and some people will see it as being petty.”