September 24, 2007

Unbelievable? 10 amazing facts about the win

The word unbelievable is no doubt overused in the modern sports lexicon. Everyday plays are deemed "unbelievable," by sportswriters and broadcasters everywhere. But what happened Saturday at Papa John's Cardinals stadium in Louisville was about as close to unbelievable as you're going to get in sports today.

The Syracuse Orange, 0-3 on the season, went on the road to topple the 18th ranked Cardinals in their own backyard, 38-35 in what is being hailed as the biggest upset in Big East history.

Almost no one who knew anything about these two teams would have conceded that Syracuse had a shot and yet the Orange left Louisville with their first win of the season and are now undefeated in conference play.

The win looks unbelievable enough just glancing at the score but when you dig into the numbers, it becomes even harder to grasp.

Here are the top ten most amazing things to consider when thinking about the Orange's improbable win on Saturday.

1. Cards fold at home

The Cardinals were undefeated at home in their past twenty games. Not since November 15th, 2003 had the Cardinals lost in Papa John's stadium. The streak was the second longest active home winning streak in Division I college football, second only to the top ranked USC Trojans.

2. Road warriors

The Orange have won only one road game in the past two seasons (at Illinois last year) and their last conference road win came against Boston College in 2004. Greg Robinson had not beaten a Big East team on the road in his two years at Syracuse.

3. It was a terrible matchup on paper

Coming into the game the Cardinals had the nation's best offense, averaging over 600 yards and 50 points per game. The Orange had one of the conference's worst defenses, surrendering nearly 40 points per game to their first three opponents.

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