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Wake Forest vs. Louisville: 3 Key Questions

The Demon Deacons head into Saturday's matchup against the Cardinals as 20.5 point underdogs. Can they add on another victory to climb over .500?

Joel Auerbach

1. Who will start at quarterback for the Cardinals?

Starting quarterback Will Gardner missed practice this week and his status is up in the air for Saturday's matchup. He was injured last week during the Cardinals 34-3 victory over Florida International. Gardner previously injured his ACL in his right knee two times previously, but coach Bobby Petrino said that his current injury is to his left knee.

The sophomore has played well in his first four games as a starter, throwing eight touchdown passes to just two interceptions. Both of his picks came during the Cardinals 23-21 loss at Virginia. If he can't go, true freshman Reggie Bonnafon will get the nod. He was a four-star recruit last year and the No. 2 ranked quarterback in the state of Kentucky according to ESPN.

2. How will the Demon Deacon receivers fare against the Cardinals' DBs?

Gerod Holliman leads a Cardinals' secondary that only allowed 117 passing yards against Florida International last weekend. He had two interceptions last week, giving him a nationally-leading five on the season. The ACC awarded him Defensive Back of the Week honors for his performance.

On the other side of the ball, Deacon E.J. Scott has surpassed his career total of three touchdowns in 2014. He hauled in his fourth score of the year against Army. Fellow receiver Matt James has put up similar yardage, yet has failed to capitalize in the endzone. It will be a tough test for the duo, as the Cardinals have the 26th-best pass defense in the nation through the first four games. The Deacons will likely have no choice but to pass quite a bit; the Cardinals sixth-ranked run defense should have little trouble against a Demon Deacon squad that has managed to churn out just 168 rush yards on the year, a mark that is third-worst in the entire FBS.

3. Will the Deacons hold the Cardinals in the redzone?

So far this season the Cardinals have scored on 19 of their 20 attempts in the redzone, with 16 of those being touchdowns. That's a pretty impressive mark, even against some weaker defensive competition. The Wake Forest defense has actually been a bright spot for the team this year. In terms of total yardage, the Deacons are 21st in the nation. Against the pass, they're even better, allowing under 150 yards per game through the air.

The Cardinals have managed to play a balanced attack so far. They have had already had five different receivers and four different running backs score a touchdown. Cornerbacks Kevin Johnson and Bud Noel will need to be at the top of their game to hold off all of these playmakers.