The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will host the Louisville Cardinals in ACC play Saturday night from BB&T Field.
The Louisville Cardinals enter this matchup winners of three out of their last four games. They dropped their first conference game in a 35-24 road decision to Florida State in week four, and they countered with a much-needed 41-39 home win against Boston College last week to improve to 1-1 in ACC play. Louisville QB Jawon Pass remains questionable. Malik Cunningham has shined in the absence of Pass. The duo has combined for a 9:2 TD to INT ratio. The Cardinals are 1-1 on the road this season.
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons enjoyed a well-deserved bye last week. They have won all five games which include wins against Utah State, North Carolina, and Boston College. The Demon Deacons' offense has received steady production both in the air and on the ground. Their passing offense has especially been sharp led by Jamie Newman who features a dazzling 14:3 TD to INT ratio. Despite not playing last week, Wake Forest ascended three spots to #19 in this week’s AP Top 25 rankings due to their undefeated record.
Louisville Earns First ACC Victory
The Louisville Cardinals enter this challenging matchup with confidence. They notched their first conference win in a thrilling 41-39 victory against Boston College last week in a game that had the Cardinals labeled as four-point favorites. The Cardinals have utilized several QB’s due to the injury to Jawon Pass who has missed the last three games. Malik Cunningham has been sharp in his absence. Cunningham recorded 288 passing yards in the win last week, and the sophomore QB has accrued 721 passing yards with a 5:1 TD to INT ratio. Look for Cunningham to see a majority of the action again this week if Pass is unable to play. Pass is dealing with turf toe and is questionable.
The Cardinals feature a dangerous running game that ranks 20th in the FBS. Javian Hawkins is having a tremendous freshman year, rushing for 562 yards on an average of over six yards per attempt. Hawkins has registered at least 100 rushing yards in three games this season.
Look for Tutu Atwell to be targeted heavily against a subpar Wake Forest pass defense. The sophomore WR brought in 110 receiving yards last week, and he is up to 424 receiving yards. The Louisville offense should continue to improve if a #1 QB is established and it looks as if Cunningham is starting to blossom.
The Cardinals defense has struggled in their two ACC games, squandering 35 and 39 points respectively. They are having some trouble defending the pass. Louisville is scoring an average of 32.4 points, good for 52nd in the country. They are conceding an average of 26 points, placing them 62nd overall.
#19 Wake Forest Looks to Improve to 6-0
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons will attempt to keep their perfect record intact. The Demon Deacons have posted a sizzling 5-0 start which has landed them in the AP Top 25. Wake Forest is 2-0 in ACC play which included a 27-24 road win against Boston College in their latest game before the bye in a clash that had the Demon Deacons favored by 4.5 points. Deacons’ QB Jamie Newman is having a tremendous season, connecting on 69% of his passes for 1521 yards accompanied with a 14:3 TD to INT ratio. The junior QB has tallied at least 300 passing yards in three games this season.
“I tell the players all the time: It’s an affirmation of that they’re doing things right and they need to continue to do those things,” Clawson said. “We don’t talk about it. ‘Keep your eye on the ball, 1-0. Focus on Louisville, and if you do that, all that other stuff takes care of itself.’
-Wake Forest HC Dave Clawson on his team's #19 ranking.
Wake Forest has a ton of weapons all over the field which includes Kenneth Walker III. The freshman RB has rushed for over 100 yards on three occasions, and he is up to 318 rushing yards on an average of 9.6 yards per attempt.
The Demon Deacons feature two big threats in their receiving core led by Sage Surratt who has accumulated 515 receiving yards, while Scotty Washington has 470 yards. Surratt is a talented sophomore who has recorded 100 receiving yards in two out of his last three games. The Wake Forest offense is very balanced as they rank 10th in the FBS with an average of over 500 total yards per game.
The Demon Deacons defense has been sharp after allowing 35 points to Utah State in week one. They limited Boston College to only 24 points in their latest action. They will give up yards in the air as seen in their 87th ranked pass defense. Wake Forest is scoring an average of 35.8 points, placing them 32nd overall. They are holding opponents to only 21 points, good for 36th in the FBS.
The Louisville Cardinals are:
- 1-7 ATS in their last 8 road games.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing more than 280 passing yards in their previous game.
- 0-8 ATS in their last 8 conference games.
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against Louisville.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record.
- 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS loss.