Instant analysis: Syracuse 45, Louisville 26
November, 10, 2012
By Andrea Adelson | ESPN.com
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse completely dominated No. 9 Louisville 45-26, handing the Cardinals their first loss of the season. Here is a quick look at how it happened:
It was over when: Prince-Tyson Gulley ran for a 55-yard touchdown late in the second quarter to put the Orange up 31-10. Though the Cardinals had been able to overcome their fair share of deficits this season, they never faced a 21-point deficit. This one just had a different feel from the beginning of the game. Syracuse completely and thoroughly dominated in all three phases, while Louisville never looked completely comfortable out there. The Cards were hurt when leading rusher Senorise Perry went down with a leg injury on the first drive of the game, and Syracuse took away Teddy Bridgewater's primary receiving targets. Defensively, Louisville had its worst performance of the season and simply could not generate much of a pass rush with Lorenzo Mauldin and B.J. Dubose missing as well.
Game ball goes to: Syracuse receiver Alec Lemon. It became a familiar refrain throughout the whole game. Alec Lemon: still open. Louisville simply did not have an answer for one of the best receivers in the Big East, and he ended up making the Cardinals pay. He had two first-half touchdown receptions and ended with nine catches for 176 yards, just shy of career marks in both categories.
Stat of the game: 0. As in zero turnovers for Syracuse. The Orange are 3-0 this season when they don't turn the ball over.
What it means: Louisville was the last remaining unbeaten team in the Big East, so losing -- and losing in such blowout fashion -- certainly does not help the league's image. But all hope is not lost for the Cards, so to speak. They will still have a shot at the Big East title and an automatic spot in the BCS if they win out. Louisville (9-1, 4-1) has a bye next week, then faces UConn and closes out on a Thursday night at Rutgers. Syracuse, a team that has cost itself victories this season with too many turnovers and mistakes, really boosted its chances of going back to a bowl game. The Orange (5-5, 4-2) just need to win one more with games left against Missouri and Temple.