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Why you really should watch Friday's Louisville-Syracuse football game

If you enjoy speed and points, you'll enjoy the Cardinals and Orange.


The first North American ACC game of the college football season is Friday, as Louisville visits Syracuse at the Carrier Dome in New York. Georgia Tech and Boston College played last weekend in Ireland, and now the Cardinals and the Orange will face off on U.S. soil. We've got good news: This should be fun.

It may or may not be competitive. Louisville is a significant favorite on the road, and the Cardinals' opening-week demolition of Charlotte was more impressive than Syracuse's comfortable win against Colgate. But it'll be surprising if it's not a really good time, because both teams play flowing, fast styles that lend themselves to quality offense.

It's the second game at Syracuse for new Orange head coach Dino Babers, who's gone from engineering a #FalconFast offense at Bowling Green to the #OrangeIsTheNewFast model currently in play at Syracuse. The Orange went ahead and ran 80 plays in 30 minutes of possession time in their opener, and they'll try to beat Louisville in a track meet. The Cardinals – who dropped a cool 56 first-half points on Charlotte, have reason to feel up to the challenge.

How to watch, stream and listen

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN 2. Broadcasters are Adam Amin (play-by-play), Mack Brown (analyst) and Molly McGrath (sideline).

Radio: Louisville and Syracuse

Online streaming: WatchESPN

Spread: Louisville opened as a 13-point favorite.

Make friends: Cards fans, off to Card Chronicle! Syracuse fans can visit Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.

Three particularly good reasons to watch

1. Lamar Jackson is just about as exciting as it gets. The Louisville quarterback is as good a breakout candidate this season as any, and he explained why with his play against Charlotte. Jackson can run like the wind and make any number of guys miss, and if he develops into a great passer, there won't be much stopping him. This is a chance to watch that evolution, which could happen quickly. He was 17 of 23 for 286 yards and six scores last week.

2. The Orange can move it, and do they ever. The pace here is obvious from just one game, and it's in line with what Babers often did when he coached at Bowling Green. The Orange ran almost three plays per minute of possession time in their opener, and they sure did a lot with them. Mobile quarterback Eric Dungey was 34 of 40 for 355 yards and a couple of touchdowns, and Amba Etta-Tawo and Ervin Philips ran wild as pass catchers.

3. There will be points – lots of them. It's fairly likely that Louisville scores more of them than Syracuse, but both teams should get theirs. Both teams have weapons, and they're playing in a climate-controlled dome, on turf. This is your best bet if you're looking for good football on Friday night, and the teams have a real shot to deliver it.


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