Louisville Shuts Out Syracuse in Primetime


(Photo of Hassan Hall: Jamie Rhodes/USA TODAY Sports)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - It might have came against the worst team in the league, but it was a victory that Louisville desperately needed.

In the midst of their most turbulent period of the season, Louisville was able to capture their first win in nearly a month, shutting out Syracuse 30-0 under the Friday night lights of Cardinal Stadium.

The Cardinals (3-6, 2-6 ACC) more than tripled the yardage of their visitors, amassing 413 total yards to the 125 of the Orange (1-8, 1-7 ACC). Quarterback Malik Cunningham completed 19 of his 28 throws for 219 yards and a touchdown, and wide receiver Braden Smith led all receivers with seven receptions for 65 yards.

Playing in their first game since star running back Javian Hawkins opted out, Louisville still was able to maintain a solid rushing attack. Running backs Maurice Burkley & Jalen Mitchell showed flashes of brilliance, combining for 102 yards on 21 attempts.

On the other side of the ball, Syracuse was not nearly as fortunate. Sporting a full defense since their 48-16 dismantling of Florida State, Louisville's front seven harassed the Orange all night long, as they were held to a measly 1-10 on third down and 46 yards in the second half.

Quarterback Jacobian Morgan was only able to complete 5 of his 12 attempts for 40 yards, and Cuse's rushing attack was held to just 92 yards. Rodjay Burns, Yasir Abdullah & Jared Goldwire each tallied a sack, while Kei'Trel Clark hauled in an interception.

Neither team took much care of the football to start the game, as both the Cardinals & Orange turned it over three times each in the game's first thirty minutes. Cunningham threw two turnovers and coughed up a fumble, while Syracuse fumbled two kickoff returns and Morgan also threw an interception.

Fortunately, whenever Louisville was not busy giving up the football, they were ending drives in points. Mitchell & Cunningham each had rushing scores in the first half, wide receiver Tutu Atwell nabbed a receiving score in the second half, and placekicker James Turner connected on a trio of field goals including a career-long 50-yarder.

Louisville will be back in action next weekend for their final home game of season, hosting the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Cardinal Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 28, with a kickoff time yet to be determined.

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