Louisville running back Jeremy Wright rushed for 98 yards and two touchdowns to help the Cardinals defeat host Syracuse, 28-20, Saturday at the Carrier Dome.
Despite the loss, Syracuse remains second in the Big East Conference at 3-2. Louisville improves to 2-2 and sits in a tie for third with South Florida. A victory would have made Syracuse bowl-eligible for the first time since 2004.
Syracuse (6-3 overall) had four chances in the fourth quarter to even the score but went three-and-out on three of its possessions.
Louisville (5-4), which scored the game-winning TD early in the third quarter on a 12-yard rush by Wright, went for it on fourth-and-one at its own 41-yard line with 3:18 to go.
Quarterback Justin Burke earned the first down by sneaking up the middle for two yards. The Cardinals then drained the game clock to :33 before punting.
Syracuse moved the ball just five yards and ended the game on a failed desperation play.
Wright’s game-winning score capped off a 10-play, 60-yards drive and gave Louisville a 21-17 advantage.
Later in the third, Syracuse cut the deficit to 21-20 when kicker Ross Krautman nailed a 42-yard field goal. That’s as close as the Orange would get.
The Cardinals scored the game's final TD just 36 seconds into the fourth quarter and increased its lead to 28-20.
Burke connected with tight end Justin Chichester on a 21-yard reception to complete 12-play, 90-yard drive, which started at the end of the third quarter.
Defensively, linebacker Derrell Smith had a team-leading 12 tackles.
Next Saturday, Syracuse travels to Rutgers for a game scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
Louisville hosts South Florida at noon.