Nov 13, 2021; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Syracuse Orange linebacker Mikel Jones (3) tackles Louisville Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham (3) during the first quarter at Cardinal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

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Louisville stifles Syracuse in 41-3 rout

Malik Cunningham threw four touchdowns and ran for another as host Louisville took control in the second quarter and rolled to a 41-3 rout of Syracuse on Saturday afternoon.

The Cardinals posted an easy victory on the day 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson’s jersey was retired at haltime. Jackson joined Johnny Unitas as the second Louisville player to earn the honor.

When it came time for the retirement of Jackson’s No. 8 jersey, the Cardinals held a 35-3 lead, thanks to the efforts of Cunningham.

Cunningham, who was sidelined for part of the second half during last week’s loss to Clemson due to an ankle injury, scored on a 6-yard TD run with 9:13 remaining in the first quarter and then threw four touchdown passes before halftime.

He connected with Tyler Harrell on a 33-yard TD late in the first quarter and then found Ahmari Huggins-Bruce for TDs of 6 and 17 yards respectively. Huggins-Bruce’s TDs were sandwiched between a 41-yard TD pass to Jordan Watkins.

Cunningham completed 13 of 18 passes for 209 yards on a day when he rushed for a season-low 19 yards as Louisville’s offense totaled 382 yards and converted 17 first downs.

Two field goals from James Turner accounted for the other points as the Cardinals (5-5, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) scored at least 40 points for the second time this season and won for the second time in six games to move within one win of becoming bowl-eligible.

Cunningham also had help from Louisville’s defense, which bottled up Syracuse running back Sean Tucker and the Orange’s rushing attack, which entered the game leading the ACC with 247.7 rushing yards per game. Tucker entered the game at 1,267 rushing yards, which trailed Michigan State Kenneth Walker III’s by 63 yards.

Tucker was held to 95 yards and narrowly missed his eighth straight 100-yard game.

Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader was 10-for-18 for 46 yards. He also rushed 20 times for 43 yards and was sacked four times

Syracuse (5-5, 2-4) was unable to win a third straight game and unable to become bowl-eligible after going a combined 6-17 in the previous two seasons.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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