week 9: Louisville at wake forest preview, prediction
By Mike Gilpatrick October 27th, 2017
Louisville WR No. 88 Javonte Bagley makes a reception and rushes downfield against Boston College on October 18th,2017. Photo by Seth Spalding, River City Cards
cards seek bowl eligibility against wake forest
After a dramatic finish in Tallahassee, the Louisville Cardinals turn attention to Wake Forest, a team that had struggled in recent weeks. If Louisville wins, they secure bowl eligibility. The game is Saturday, October 28th, at 12:20 on ACC Network Extra.
Getting to know the Demon Deacons
Wake Forest sits at 4-3, and are on a three-game losing streak. The three losses are against Florida State at home, No. 7 Clemson and Georgia Tech on the road. They’ve averaged only 19 points over the stretch, totally different from the 38 before. Their best win was against Boston College in Week two.
The Demon Deacons win on defense. They’re only giving up 19.7 points per game, and have held opponents to 28 or under six times. They’ve held four opponents to under 20. They’ve only allowed 179 passing yards per game, and have intercepted the ball six times. Wake Forest has broken up 30 passes, and forced seven fumbles.
Senior defensive lineman Duke Ejifor is the highlight of the defense. He’s tackled 13 behind the line of scrimmage, creating a loss of 56 yards.
The Demon Deacons aren’t as potent offensively. They rank 67th overall. The highlight of their offense is Senior quarterback John Wolford, whom leads the team in passing and rushing. He’s responsible for 15 touchdowns; five on the ground, ten through the air. The majority of passing touchdowns were to Wake’s top receiver, freshman Greg Dortch, and senior tight end Cam Serigne. Both players are responsible for five touchdowns. Dortch received the majority of passing yards, with 555 on 43 catches.
What to watch for
Expect Louisville to rush more than often. Wake Forest has the 88th rushing defense, and allowed 182.7 yards per game on the ground. Nine of the sixteen touchdowns allowed are from the ground. Last week, Wake Forest limited Georgia Tech to just 46 passing yards, while allowing 427 rushing. All Yellow Jackets touchdowns were on the ground.
Also expect Louisville to test Wake Forest’s passing defense. Freshman Dez Fitzpatrick and Junior Jaylen Smith have been Jackson’s favorite targets, with both receiving over 30 catches, and over 540 yards.
I have a feeling this is going to be a close shootout. Louisville hasn’t been good defensively. They did a better job against Florida State last week, but Wake Forest has a far better offense. Wake Forest also has a dual-threat quarterback, something Louisville struggles with.
But Louisville’s far-better offensive weapons, and momentum will be the difference maker. I predict Louisville’s offense will capitalize on Wake’s weak rushing defense, proving to be the deciding factor.