FACTS & STATS: Site: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium (55,000) — Louisville,
Kentucky. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: WF 2-0, Louisville 2-0. Away Record:
WF 0-2, Louisville 1-1. Neutral Record: WF 0-0, Louisville 0-0. Conference
Record: WF 0-0, Louisville 1-1. Series Record: Louisville leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Wake Forest Demon Deacons finally get their ACC schedule
underway, as they take on the Louisville Cardinals in a conference matchup at
Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Dave Clawson’s first season in Winston-Salem has seen the team win a pair of
home games against Gardner Webb (23-7) and most recently, Army (24-21), while
dropping road games at ULM (17-10) and Utah State (36-24).
Bobby Petrino is also in his first season with Louisville, although this marks
his second stint with the program. The team opened the 2014 campaign and its
ACC schedule with a big home win against Miami-Florida (31-13), followed by a
blowout of Murray State (66-21). The Cardinals have also suffered their first-
ever ACC loss, falling at Virginia (23-21) two weeks ago, but got back in the
win column at FIU last weekend (34-3).
Louisville won the only previous meeting with Wake Forest, earning a 24-13
victory in the 2007 Orange Bowl.
The Demon led the way under center, but his youth has been
apparent at times. He has completed 60.0 percent of his passes, for 883 yards,
but has more interceptions (7) than TD passes (6).
Redshirt freshman tight end Cam Serigne is the top target thus far with 21
catches, for 219 yards, with one TD. Veteran wideout E.J. Scott has made the
most of his chances, with 17 catches, for 220 yards and four TDs.
Wake has had its ups and downs defensively, showing a penchant for stopping
opposing passing games (148.0 ypg), but being susceptible to the run (160.2
ypg). Still, an active defense has recorded 31 TFL, 9.0 sacks and has forced
seven turnovers thus far.
Sophomore safety Ryan Janvion leads the unit in tackles with 44 and has forced
one fumble. Junior linebacker Brandon Chubb is a close second in stops with
43, with one sack and one forced fumble. Sophomore linebacker Marquel Lee (38
tackles) has a team-high 5.5 TFL.
Sophomore signal caller Will Gardner had the unenviable task of replacing
Teddy Bridgewater under center for Louisville, but the 6-5 youngster has
performed well thus far, including a 295-yard, two TD performance against FIU
last time out.
On the season, Gardner has completed 56.2 percent of his passes, for 798 yards
and eight TDs against just two INTs. Sophomore WR James Quick, who caught two
TD passes last week, now has 17 receptions, for 262 yards and three TDs. He
has become a go-to-guy with All-American candidate Devante Parker sidelined
due to injury.
The Louisville ground attack, which averages 136.5 yards per game, is
spearheaded by senior tailback Dominique Brown, who has 285 yards and three
TDs thus far.
It hasn’t been easy replacing a pair of first-round NFL draft picks in Marcus
Smith and Calvin Pryor, but Louisville has managed to play well defensively
for the most part despite the huge losses. Opponents are averaging just 15.0
ppg this year on a mere 256.5 yards of total offense.
Sophomore linebacker Keith Kelsey leads the team in tackles with 24, with two
sacks and one fumble recovery to his credit. Senior defensive end Lorenzo
Mauldin has NFL talent off the edge and has 18 tackles, with six coming behind
the line of scrimmage, with one sack.
The Demon Deacons will battle, but in the end, the more balanced team is
Louisville. Expect the Cardinals to win this one going away.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisville 40, Wake Forest 17