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Wake Forest vs. Louisville - 5 Biggest Concerns

Wake is a 20.5 point underdog, so clearly we should be concerned about something right?

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

1. How will Wake Forest's offense score?

I don't think I'm exactly breaking news by saying that no team has ever won a football game by scoring 0 points. The troubling part for Wake Forest is that this is a very realistic possibility both this week against Louisville, and the following weekend against Florida State. According to Football Outsiders' S&P+ ratings, Louisville currently has the second best defense in the country, while Wake Forest has the 123rd "best" offense out of 128 teams. That's not exactly a combination that makes Wake fans confident headed into Saturday's contest.

2. Can Wake limit turnovers?

John Wolford has thrown 7 interceptions through 4 games this season, though you could certainly argue only about half of them were his fault. This is not a promising trend, as Louisville has also forced 7 interceptions on the young season, and has Gerod Holliman, who leads the nation in interceptions with 5. I believe Wake is going to need a turnover free game in order to win.

3. Can Wake Forest's offensive line keep John Wolford upright?

John Wolford has already been sacked 15 times this season, while Louisville has sacked opponents 11 times. In talking to Louisville expert Mark Ennis last night, he seemed to think that the Louisville defense would be bringing a tremendous amount of pressure. The offensive line improved against Army, but time will tell if that was due to improvement or just Army's lack of athleticism and technique. Additionally, can our line run block and help Isaiah Robinson and Orville Reynolds generate first downs. We need to give our defense rest throughout the game.

4. Will long snapper Logan Feimster's absence haunt Wake Forest?

Logan Feimster is an excellent long snapper, but he is not longer on the team due to personal reasons. In his place will be linebacker Steve Donatell, who has not snapped a ball in a game since high school. In a game where Wake Forest's offense could easily be punting 8-10 times, all it takes is one inaccurate or slow snap to alter field position by 50+ yards or even allow a touchdown. This won't be talked about much, but it's a legitimate concern I have going into Saturday.

5. Can Wake Forest continue their strong rushing defense and force Louisville into passing situations?

Wake Forest's defense is ranked 50th overall according to Football Outsiders' S&P+ ratings. Their rush defense, however, is slightly worse and ranks 58th overall. In this game, Wake Forest must limit Louisville on 1st and 2nd downs in order to force their hand into passing situations on 3rd downs. Wake's passing defense is ranked 32nd in the secondary, and they should be considering Wake has two future NFL cornerbacks in Merrill Noel and Kevin Johnson. When Wake's opponents are in obvious passing situations (2nd down with 8+ yards to go or 3rd down with 5+ yards to go) the defense is an excellent 20th overall. I'm concerned about stopping Dominique Brown, who averages 4.45 yards/carry, but if we can force passing situations, then I'm confident our defense can come up with stops.

What concerns do you all have heading into Saturday's game?