The Demon Deacons, having secured bowl eligibility last week against Virginia, take to the road to square off against Louisville. Louisville’s only loss of the season is to Clemson in Death Valley - a hard fought game that either team had a legitimate chance to win right until the finish. Their quarterback Lamar Jackson, barring an extremely unforeseen event, will be the Heisman winner at the end of the season and the Cardinals need to win out to have any chance at all of sneaking into the College Football Playoff at the end of the season.
Per some quick research, Wake hasn’t beaten a top ten team in college football since 1946 - the longest winless streak for any current P5 school against top ten opponents by a whopping 41 years (next closest is Indiana who beat Ohio State in 1946).
Other than that Mrs. Lincoln how was the play? Do the Deacs have a shot? We tossed that question out to the staff and here are their predictions (too long; didn’t read article: no - no shot at all):
Bart: My prediction? Pain. Louisville has steamrolled five of the eight teams they've played and Wake's only hope is that Jackson has an off game while the defense has their best game of the year. On the road at night doesn't exactly instill confidence that the Deacs will take care of business in any meaningful way. I think something around 45-7 sounds right with Wake down 31-7 or 31-0 at halftime before the second half rolls around and things calm down for the Louisville offense. I hope I'm wrong but we'll see.
Rob: Louisville 52, Wake Forest 10
Yeah, that score looks really bad, but Lamar Jackson is a bad, bad man. He has made elite defenses like Clemson's look befuddled, and I expect more of the same on Saturday night. Louisville has so many weapons offensively, and they are in a fight to make the College Football Playoffs, which means they need to put up a huge margin. Wake Forest was so pumped after the Virginia win, and rightfully so, but I worry that translates into much lower focus and energy during practice this week. I hope I'm wrong, but we'll see on Saturday night. I'm sure I'll get criticized for my prediction, but I make picks based on what I think will happen not what I want to happen.
Bridgers: Louisville 38 Wake Forest 13
I think the Deacs try and do what Duke did a few weeks ago and run the ball while letting as much time run off the clock between each snap. This way they can limit the amount of time that high powered Louisville offense is on the field. Of course, if they can't get any first downs running the ball, that strategy won't be very effective.
Chris: 30-0, Louisville.
Wake will try to run as much clock as they can when they have the ball. That will work to keep the game relatively low scoring through a quarter or two, but Wake won't be able to turn over Louisville like they have in wins this season. Louisville is going to try and run up the score, and their offense is absolutely capable of doing it, even against a pretty good Deacon defense.
Grumpy: Wake Forest 17 Louisville 14
Tuesday has convinced me that experts and projections mean nothing! Brexit times five here we come!
(Editor’s Note: I like the cut of your jib)
Ned: Louisville 42-13
Wake falls behind early and struggles to ever recover in a hostile environment Saturday night. The Lamar Jackson Heisman train keeps rolling despite a respectable defensive effort by the Deacs and makes this one unfortunately out of reach by halftime. Let's stay healthy and get out of Kentucky with our heads held high.
Jake: 48-6 Louisville. Wake has been bad early in games. Fortunately, the competition hasn't been great and the Deacs have fought back. This time a bad start snowballs and it gets lopsided early. Hopefully not NC State-level bad (44-0 at halftime), but still bad. I just hope the Deacs can get back to Winston without any major injuries.
And there you have the predictions. Grumpy holding down the fort for all of us. What say ye Wake fans - too harsh on the predictions or spot on? Let us know your thoughts on the game below and as always, go Deacs!