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Tale of the tape

A position-by-position breakdown of Saturday’s game

Quarterbacks Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib and Louisville’s Adam Froman have been simi-

lar quarterbacks thus far. They are Nos. 4 and 5 in the Big East in pass efficiency and average passing yards per game, though Nassib has 14 touchdowns to Froman’s 11. With Froman’s status in question, SU gets the nod here. Advantage: Syracuse

Running backs

Both teams’ offenses are built around their respective running games. And both of those running games are currently hampered by injuries. In SU’s case, it’s the absence of freshman Prince-Tyson Gulley. In Louisville’s case, it’s the uncertain status of the nation’s fourth-leading rusher in Bilal Powell. SU’s two best running backs in Delone Carter and Antwon Bailey, though, should be good to go. Advantage: Syracuse

Wide receivers

The not-so-secret weapon in the Orange’s pass game could be Bailey, who is quickly climbing up the charts and now has 20 receptions. Overall, both teams’ receivers are similar. SU’s Van Chew and UL’s Doug Beaumont both have 31 receptions, though Chew has exploded for 143 more yards on those receptions. Advantage: Syracuse

Tight ends

SU’s Nick Provo has established himself as a legitimate weapon in the Orange’s passing attack, and he now has 20 receptions on the year. But Louisville’s Cameron Graham is the Cardinals’ red-zone threat. He has three touchdown catches this year. Advantage: Louisville

Offensive line

Syracuse’s offensive line has steadily improved from a penalty-riddled performance at South Florida. But Louisville’s line has only allowed 10 sacks this season to SU’s 17, and it paves the way for Powell. Advantage: Louisville

Defensive line

Both Syracuse and Louisville have legitimate pass rushers in Chandler Jones and Rodney Gnat. Both getting to the quarterback will be key in the game’s outcome. Advantage: Even

Linebackers

The position is Louisville’s weak link on defense. No linebacker has more than 27.5 tackles this season. The Orange has two tackling machines in Derrell Smith and Doug Hogue, who have 63 and 57, respectively. Advantage: Syracuse

Secondary

Telling of Scott Shaffer’s defense is the fact that three defensive backs have a sack this season. But Louisville’s secondary is good in its own right, as it leads a defense that is ranked 13th nationally against the pass. Advantage: Even

Special teams

Overlooked amid the overall hoopla surrounding Syracuse is that Ross Krautman has only missed two kicks the entire season — one on a botched snap on an extra point and one field goal. He is 11-for-12 on the season, providing consistency and reliability. Advantage: Syracuse

Coaching

Both Doug Marrone and Charlie Strong inherited programs at the bottom of the Big East and are starting to build those programs back up. In his second season, Marrone is on a faster track, but not by much. Advantage: Syracuse — Compiled by Asst. Sports Editor Brett LoGiurato

November 5, 2010  
November 5, 2010  

November 5, 2010

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