On a day where numerous top-10 teams were defeated, the Deacs could not pull off the upset over #6 Louisville. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons found themselves up 12-10 after 3 quarters, but Louisville was unbelievably explosive in the 4th and ultimately won 44-12. What were some of the main takeaways?
My initial takeaway is that I give the coaching staff and the players a great deal of credit. I know that sounds ridiculous after a 32-point loss, but I believe my statement has merit. I expected Wake Forest to come out incredibly flat this week, and they came out tough. The defense forced a fumble on the first play from scrimmage, and the team fought unbelievably hard to take a lead into the 4th quarter. Did they get demolished in the 4th? Absolutely, but this team became bowl eligible last week and they still competed like hell despite accumulating injuries throughout this game. That says a great deal about the character of the Wake Forest players.
Ultimately this game came down to Louisville having superior offensive talent. The Wake defense did a remarkable job for the first 3 quarters, and really limited Lamar Jackson as a passer, but they wore down into the 4th. Louisville was dominant on the ground. Jackson ran 22 times for 153 yards, while Brandon Radcliffe had 11 carries for 141 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Wake Forest did some positive things offensively (some passing plays of 10+ yards), but could not establish the run at all, and finished with just 73 yards on 49 attempts. Wake’s entire team got beat up, and I’m curious to see what the depth chart looks like next week with such a physical team in the Clemson Tigers coming to Winston. Wake is beat up on the offensive line, and that’s bad news because Clemson has one of the most physical and talented defensive lines in the country. Really, the most important thing is for Wake Forest to get healthy for the game against Boston College.
Louisville will play Houston this Thursday, while Wake Forest host Clemson.