By Beau Kilpatrick—
Wake Forest 12 at No. 6 Louisville 44
The No. 6 Louisville Cardinals struggled early against Wake Forest during the Saturday night match-up at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The first half was plagued with turnovers for U of L. Jaylen Smith fumbled on the first offensive play of the game, Brandon Radcliff lost the ball on a rush, and Lamar Jackson lost the ball on a 25-yard run. They couldn’t seem to connect offensively.
The Cardinal defense stepped up once again, holding the Demon Deacons to four field goals and never allowing them into the end zone. Devonte Fields had an impressive outing with nine total tackles, four of which were for a loss, and he gathered three sacks. Chucky Williams also had nine tackles for the game. DeAngelo Brown also had a big game as he created a forced fumble to go along with his six tackles and one and a half sacks. Walker hauled in the Cards’ only interception of the day and returned it 31 yards for a defensive touchdown.
For more stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=135493
Brandon Radcliff lifted the Cardinals onto his shoulders in the second half and carried them to victory after his early fumble. He finally reached the end zone on a 55-yard touchdown run up the middle. He scored three total touchdowns and reeled in 141 yards on only 11 attempts.
Malik Williams ran for the only rushing score that didn’t belong to Radcliff and Cole Hikutini collected the only receiving TD from Jackson. Louisville receivers struggled throughout the entire game. Traveon Samuels led all receivers with 42 yards.
Devante Peete may have put the cherry on top of this win when he blocked a Wake Forest punt in the fourth quarter. The 6-foot-6 special teams player got just enough of his fingertips on the ball to tip it in the air for Malik Williams to recover.
The Cardinals did not look like a national playoff contender in the first half. In the half, they did not score a touchdown and finished with a 3-point field goal. However, coach Petrino commanded his team to focus for the second half. Louisville scored six touchdowns in the second half and looked like the Cardinals we have grown accustomed to.
The Cardinals have now taken the lead over Clemson in the ACC Atlantic division. The AP poll has placed Louisville as the unofficial No. 3 team in the country. The loss by No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Michigan, and No. 4 Washington should help U of L soar into the nation’s top four.
For more ACC rankings and CFP polls: http://www.espn.com/college-football/team/_/id/97/
The Cardinals will travel to Texas on Thursday night, Nov. 17, to take on the Houston Cougars. This game was projected as a trap game for Louisville at the beginning of the season but Houston has since fallen out of the rankings. The game will be broadcasted at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN.
Match-up predictor: http://www.espn.com/college-football/game?gameId=400869562