It's tough to go 12 regular-season games in college football without getting caught on a bad day, or by a hot opponent who has its best performance of the year.
Both things happened to Louisville on Saturday. The Cardinals were three-quarters of the way to that undefeated regular season when it went up against a Syracuse team that absolutely dominated in a 45-26 win.
Syracuse was probably better than its 4-5 record indicated, but this was by far its best game this season. The Orange gained 532 yards, and led 31-13 by halftime. When Jerome Smith started the second half with a 35-yard touchdown run, Syracuse led by 25 and the game was all but over.
Louisville's loss changes the race for the Big East championship. Coming into the week, Rutgers was 4-0 in conference play, and Cincinnati was 2-1. The Cardinals' loss helps both of those teams.
Louisville has some issues to fix. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was pretty good, throwing for 422 yards and three touchdowns, although a lot of those numbers came with the Cardinals in catch-up mode. The problem was the defense, which was pushed around and didn't tackle well as it gave up 286 yards rushing.
As the Cardinals found out Saturday, it's tough to get through an entire season without having one of those forgettable days.
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