Louisville vs. Wake Forest prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Cardinals and Demon Deacons on Saturday in Louisville, KY.
Louisville vs. Wake Forest Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 12 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY
TV Broadcast: ESPN2
The Lamar Jackson Show was on the road last week, and the star Cardinals (8-1, 6-1 ACC) quarterback put on a show for his fans in Boston. The Heisman Trophy contender ran for three touchdowns and threw for four more in three quarters to lead the Cardinals to a 52-7 victory over Boston College. Jackson became the first quarterback in school history to run for more than 1,000 yards in a season.
Meanwhile, the Demon Deacons (6-3, 3-2) became bowl-eligible last week with a 27-20 home victory over Virginia. Dave Clawson’s Demon Deacons forced two fourth-quarter interceptions by Kurt Benkert, with safety Jessie Bates returning the latter 39 yards for the winning touchdown late in the game to secure bowl eligibility for the first time since 2011. In that season, the Demon Deacons went on to lose to Mississippi State in the Music City Bowl.
These two teams met last year in Winston-Salem, and Louisville forced five second-half turnovers in a 20-19 victory. Wide receiver Jamari Staples caught two touchdown passes from Jackson for Louisville, while Demon Deacons signal-caller John Wolford was just 6-of-19 passing for 131 yards, and he threw three of his team’s four second-half interceptions.
What To Know About Louisville
Bobby Petrino’s Cardinals checked in at No. 7 in the first College Football Playoff rankings, although they should be able to move up a spot this week with Texas A&M’s loss to Mississippi State. The Cardinals don’t exactly have the toughest of remaining schedules, so finishing with just a loss is very possible. The problem is that it is very unlikely that Clemson will lose twice, which is what the Cardinals will need to have happen to win the ACC Atlantic division. What is likely, however, is Jackson winning the Heisman Trophy after putting together a phenomenal season. His performance against BC marked the third time this season he has accounted for seven or more touchdowns. No other player in FBS has done it more than once.
What to Know About Wake Forest
One week after dropping a tough home contest to Army, the Demon Deacons bounced back with a win over Virginia. The game versus Louisville will see the Demon Deacons play on the road for the final time this season, and it will be a nice opportunity to beat a nationally ranked opponent for the first time since knocking off then-No. 22 Florida State in 2011. Further, the Deacons have not beaten a team ranked in the top 5 since a 1946 win at then-No. 4 Tennessee. Already with postseason eligibility locked up, we should see a rather loose Wake squad this week. But can the defense offer Petrino’s offense enough resistance to hang around for four quarters?
Offense: Louisville. The Cardinals have the Heisman leader. Enough said.
Defense: Louisville. The Cardinals are allowing just 293.1 yards per contest.
Special Teams: Louisville. Jaire Alexander is a weapon a lot of teams would like to have on their special teams unit.
Coaching: Even. Petrino is a great offensive mind, but Clawson deserves a lot of credit for the job he has done this season.
Intangibles: Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons have nothing to lose, while the Cards may be worrying about style points in order to move up in the CFP rankings.
Matchup To Watch
Wolford vs. Louisville secondary
Wolford completed just six passes and threw three interceptions in last year’s meeting between these teams. However, he is coming off of a strong performance against Virginia, rushing for 94 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and going 9-of-10 passing for 83 yards and a score. Playing a near-perfect game will be necessary for Wolford if he and the Demon Deacons have any chance at pulling the upset.
Spread: Louisville -33
Over/Under: No Line (as of post)
Louisville vs. Wake Forest Prediction
The Cardinals won’t have a difficult time with a Wake squad that is solid but just way overmatched. Jackson won’t reach the seven-touchdown mark again, but this game will be decided by halftime.
Louisville vs. Wake Forest Score Prediction: Louisville 45, Wake Forest 20