Preview: Wake Forest at Louisville

When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 12, 2016
Where: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Kentucky


Louisville has only one victory over a team with a winning record this season, and the College Football Playoff committee made it clear that wasn't good enough when it placed the program seventh in its initial rankings last week and sixth in its second release. The sixth-ranked Cardinals will get another chance to impress the committee in that regard Saturday when they host the team sitting right below them in the ACC Atlantic in Wake Forest.

Coach Bobby Petrino made some waves following Louisville's 52-7 trouncing of Boston College last weekend, suggesting his team feels the need to rout each of its remaining opponents in order to make a better impression on the committee, which suggested the Cardinals' weak schedule was to blame for their relatively low ranking. While Louisville's standing with the committee may be in question at the moment, sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson continued to cement his standing as the Heisman Trophy frontrunner with seven total touchdowns versus the Eagles. The Demon Deacons became bowl-eligible for the first time since 2011 following last Saturday's 27-20 win over Virginia, snapping a two-game slide that followed the program's first 5-1 start since 2006. Wake Forest boasts the ACC's second-ranked scoring defense (18.4 points) and has already rushed for more yards through nine games this season (1,476) than it did all of last year (1,262) and more than three times what it managed in coach Dave Clawson's first season (479).

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: Louisville -34.5.

ABOUT WAKE FOREST (6-3, 3-2 ACC): With Clawson announcing this week that opening-day starter Kendall Hinton would miss the rest of the season with a setback in his sprained left knee, quarterback John Walford (11 total TDs, seven interceptions) will lead the Deacons the rest of the way and is coming off his first interception-free game in four contests. Cameron Glenn (four tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception) and Jessie Bates (four tackles, an interception, a pass breakup) took home the conference’s Defensive Back and Rookie of the Week honors, respectively, for their performances last week. Defensive end Duke Ejiofor and linebacker Marquel Lee are one of two duos across the country to rank inside the top 12 in tackles for loss (13 apiece).

ABOUT LOUISVILLE (8-1, 6-1): Jackson accounted for seven scores (four passing, three running) for the third time this season - no other player in FBS has done it more than once - to give him a NCAA-best 45 total scores for the season, while his 30-point-per-game average is higher than the scoring average for 70 FBS teams. Running back Brandon Radcliff has 627 yards and has a legitimate shot at giving the Cardinals their first set of 1,000-yard rushers in the same season in school history. Linebacker James Hearns moved into a three-way tie for first in the country by forcing his fifth fumble last week and leads the team with six sacks, while sophomore cornerback Jaire Alexander is tied for second in the country with five interceptions.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Jackson, whose scoring average is the highest since Houston's David Klinger (30 points per game in 1990), is two TDs shy of the ACC record for total touchdowns in a season.

2. Wake Forest forced at least three turnovers last weekend for the fourth time this season and leads the conference with a plus-eight turnover margin.

3. Louisville was not flagged last week, marking the first penalty-free game by the Cardinals since 1979.

PREDICTION: Louisville 38, Wake Forest 13

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Wake Forest 6-3 W1 21.3 18.4 4-1 2-2 1-2 0-0 3-2
Louisville 8-1 W4 50.2 21.2 4-0 4-1 1-1 0-0 6-1

Last Meeting

Wake Forest Louisville
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/30/15 LOU 20 WAKE 19 266 40 226 317 68 249

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
WAKE J. Wolford 33.3 131 1 3
LOU L. Jackson 73.1 207 2 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
WAKE M. Colburn 11 24 2.2 0
LOU J. Smith 12 58 4.8 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
WAKE T. Hines 3 82 27.3 1
LOU J. Staples 10 133 13.3 2
TDs Player TD
WAKE T. Hines 1
LOU J. Staples 2
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
WAKE J. Wolford 56.4 1313 5 7
LOU L. Jackson 59.0 2753 26 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
WAKE M. Colburn 109 463 4.2 1
LOU L. Jackson 163 1183 7.3 19
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
WAKE T. Hines 30 367 12.2 2
LOU J. Quick 35 601 17.2 6
TDs Player TD
WAKE J. Wolford 6
LOU L. Jackson 19

Quickchart Matchup

Wake Forest Off vs  Louisville Def
331.4 yards
293.1 yards
4 yards/rush
3 yards/rush
6.1 yards/attempt
6 yards/attempt
Louisville Off vs  Wake Forest Def
593.4 yards
369.7 yards
6.4 yards/rush
3.4 yards/rush
9.5 yards/attempt
7.5 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Wake Forest Overall Louisville
6-3-0 W/L 8-1-0
5-4-0 ATS 5-3-1
4-5-0 O/U 7-2-0
21.3 Pts For 50.2
18.4 Pts Against 21.2
Wake Forest A/H Louisville
2-2 W/L 4-0
3-1-0 ATS 3-1-0
2-2-0 O/U 3-1-0
19.8 Pts For 52.8
23.0 Pts Against 15.2