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Last time they played: Syracuse vs. Louisville

first_imgIn a way, the games could be thought of as exact opposites. Last year’s game against Louisville was a must-win to keep any hope of a bowl alive. This year’s game could grant the Orange bowl eligibility in its pursuit of something more than simply being eligible. That’s why last year’s 10-9 loss to the Cardinals in Louisville, Ky., stung so much. It was only Nov. 14, and the team had to deal with knowing that its hopes of postseason play were already over. ‘It hurts, that’s all I can say really,’ SU running back Delone Carter said after last season’s game, according to an article published in The Daily Orange on Nov. 16, 2009. ‘We had it, we had it in the bag, and it slipped away from us.’ Louisville quarterback Adam Froman found wide receiver Josh Chichester for a 15-yard touchdown with less than two minutes to play to earn the come-from-behind win. It was a game in which Syracuse only trailed for 1:24 seconds, yet SU came away with nothing. The Orange outgained Louisville by 115 yards. It had nearly 10 more minutes of possession than Louisville. And it had more than four-and-a-half times as many rushing yards as the Cardinals.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text But it had one fewer point on the scoreboard. ‘It’s a heartbreaker,’ SU center Jim McKenzie said. ‘They pulled it out at the end. It’s unfortunate. It’s a part of football. You got to play all four quarters, all 60 minutes.’ And as tended to be the case for most of last season, it was Carter who kept the Orange on top throughout the game. Carter ran the ball 28 times for 129 yards and a score, accounting for just less than 50 percent of the team’s 266 total yards. On SU’s lone touchdown-scoring drive of the game, Carter carried the ball on three out of the four plays — almost single-handedly willing the Orange into the end zone. But other than Carter, the team struggled. Quarterback Greg Paulus failed to top 100 yards and had no touchdown passes with one interception. Wide receiver Marcus Sales had a ball clang off his chest and intercepted by Louisville. And the team racked up nine penalties for 65 yards. ‘We did well overall, I thought we played hard, we had great effort, I was really proud of my teammates,’ McKenzie said. ‘But in the end, it was just one too many mistakes. There was a litany of them throughout the game.’ That game was part of a stretch of four Big East games in 2009, during which the Orange failed to score more than 13 points. At that point, Syracuse (3-7, 0-5 Big East) was demoralized with nothing left to play for. No postseason. No bowl. No wins in the conference. It left the team deflated and longing for 2010. ‘I think you have to execute, and that’s the whole thing you expect to execute at a high level, and to win football games, that’s what you have to do,’ Marrone said. ‘There’s nothing really crazy about this game. It’s about execution.’ [email protected] Comments Published on November 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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