Game Preview: Louisville v Wake Forest

Louisville welcomes Wake Forest to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium for an important ACC Atlantic Division contest on Saturday afternoon.

Game Details

Where: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m.
Weather: Low 80's, sunny
Surface: Field Turf

The Backdrop

Today's meeting marks the first ACC contest of the season for the visiting Demon Deacons and an important Atlantic Division match-up.

Both programs are under the direction of a new head coach and each will be starting a true freshman at quarterback on Saturday. Will Gardner's knee injury suffered a week ago has the the starter sidelined this weekend, so Reggie Bonnafon gets the nod for Bobby Petrino's Cardinals.

Wake Forest rookie quarterback John Wolford completed at least 20 of his pass attempts for the third straight game, finishing 25-of-35 for 238 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Army last week.

Series History

Saturday’s game will be the second football meeting between Wake Forest and Louisville, and the first since the Orange Bowl during head coach Bobby Petrino’s first stint with the Cardinals. The Cardinals defeated the Demon Deacons 24-13 in the 2007 FedEx Orange Bowl in the only meeting between the two schools. Brian Brohm was named the Orange Bowl MVP after throwing for 311 yards and Anthony Allen scored a pair of touchdowns to lead the Cardinals to their first BCS win.

Statistical Comparison

The Louisville defense enters the game ranked among the nation's best in a number categories, while the Wake Forest offense has struggled with efficiency.

Statistical Comparison

U of L
Total Offense
82 389.3 121 262.8
Passing Offense
53 252.8 80 220.8
Passing Efficiency
67 133.9 99 114.4
Rushing Offense
90 136.5 124 42.0
Scoring Offense
35 38.0 109 20.3
First Downs
43 85 91 66
Third Downs
66 0.415 96 0.351
Rushing Defense
7 78.3.0 74 160.3
Pass Defense
26 178.3 12 148.0
Pass Eff. Defense
19 105.2 46 116.9
Total Defense
7 256.5 21 308.3
Net Punting
94 35.81 10 42.91
Kickoff Returns
12 26.56 105 17.7
Turnover Margin
42 0.50 72 -0.25
Sacks 31 2.75 54 2.1
Tackles For Loss
38 6.8 122 9.5
Sacks Allowed
108 3.00 118 3.75


**The Cardinals are 14-8 against teams from the state of North Carolina, and are facing a team from the Tar Heel State for the first time since defeating North Carolina 39-35 during the 2012 season. The Cardinals are 6-4 versus East Carolina; 4-3 against North Carolina; 3-1 versus NC State and 1-0 against West Carolina.

**Quarterback John Wolford has taken over as the Demon Deacons’ starting quarterback and has thrown for 903 yards and six touchdowns this season.

**The Demon Deacons have four players with 15 or more receptions this season. Tight end Cam Seigne leads Wake Forest with 21 receptions for 239 yards and a score, while Matt James has recorded 18 receptions for 217 yards. E.J.Scott is third on the team with 17 catches for 220 yards and a team-high four touchdowns.

**Senior running back Dominique Brown leads the Cardinals in rushing with 285 yards and three touchdowns, while senior Michael Dyer made his debut Saturday with eight carries for 24 yards.

**Senior Eli Rogers and sophomore James Quick lead the team with 17 receptions. Quick is the top yardage receiver with 262 yards and a team-best three touchdowns.

**Linebacker Keith Kelsey leads the team with 24 tackles and is also tied for the team lead with two sacks.

**Sophomore safety Gerod Holliman leads the nation with five interceptions after recording a pair of interceptions for the second-straight game.

Social Updates

Cardinal Authority's Jody Demling and Michael McCammon will provide updates before, during and after the game via the Cardinal Authority forums and social media.

Beginning near kickoff, Cardinal Authority will host a live game thread in the Insiders forum, which is located here. Fans are encouraged to participate in the discussion. Additionally, there is a game thread in the Cardinal Authority football forum, The CardMarch, located here.

Follow publisher Jody Demling on Twitter at @jdemling and senior writer Michael McCammon at @mcmichael20.

Also, be sure to follow Cardinal Authority on Instagram by clicking here.

Cardinal Coordinators

Watch the video below for comments from U of L offensive coordinator Garrick McGee and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham following team practices this week.

Garrick McGee

Todd Grantham

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