Each week during the football season, Cardinal Authority breaks down the football opponent for the Louisville Cardinals.
And this week it's a solid Wake Forest football team visiting Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Saturday at 7 o'clock.
The Demon Deacons beat Virginia 27-20 last week to become bowl eligible and will try to take out the Cardinals this weekend. Wake Forest won four straight games to start the season but have since lost to N.C. State, Florida State and Army.
U of L coach Bobby Petrino has warned his team the Demon Deacons are much improved and dangerous.
And one of the reasons, according to Petrino, is the defensive front. The Cardinals must have a good week on the offensive line to try and offset a versatile, athletic and active defensive line.
"They've got a very, very good defense, a very active defensive front," Petrino said. "Again, it reminds me a little bit of North Carolina State where it's the exact same guys we played against last year, so we know them very well. They're rushing the passer well. They're one of the leading teams in sacks and they create some turnovers, so it's going to be important for us to take care of the ball, be able to throw it and catch it."
The front four for Wake Forest has four players with double-digit starts.
Defensive end Wendell Dunn has started 33 straight games, while defensive tackle Josh Banks has started 30 straight and defensive end Duke Ejiofor has started 15 straight along with tackle Chris Stewart, who has started 13 in a row.
"They're very active and very good," U of L offensive lineman Tobijah Hughley said.
The Demon Deacons are allowing just 130.9 yards a game, while holding teams to just 36 percent on third-down conversions. Wake Forest has been outscored 59-24 in the first quarter but have outscored its foes 85-27 in the second quarter.
"Yeah, they have a really good defense," Petrino said. "Their defensive front will be as active as anybody we have played this year. What I mean is that they really rush the passer, they play great technique on the run, their linebackers are fast and sprint to the football, and they have a very experienced secondary. Like I said you put the video on from this year, watching them from last years game, and with the exception of the one player they are the exact same team."null