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Louisville Players to Watch

Who are the best players for the Cardinals?

NCAA Football: Louisville at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

If it feels like it has been a month since the Deacs’ last home game, that’s because it has been. After 2 away games and a bye week, the Deacs are finally returning home this weekend to take on the Louisville Cardinals (5-3). I don’t think I need to remind any Wake Forest fans of the reasons why this is a huge game for our team, or just how much a win would mean. Let’s take a look at some guys that could keep the Deacs from getting some much deserved revenge.

Offense: Lamar Jackson | Junior QB | #8

If you’ve watched any college football in the last few years, you’ve probably heard about this guy Lamar Jackson; He’s pretty good at football. Last season, he won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, ACC Offensive Player of the Year and ACC Player of the Year after throwing for 3500 yards, running for 1500 yards, and scoring 51 total TDs. He is an absolute magician with the football; One second the defense thinks they have him, the next he’s scrambling for 40 yards down the field or escaping the pocket and throwing a bomb into the endzone. Jackson is having another ridiculous year so far this season, completing 170 of his 282 passes (60%) for 2478 yards, and 17 TDs while adding 868 rushing yards and 11 more TDs on the ground. He is currently 1st in the ACC in passing yards, passing TDs, rushing yards, and rushing TDs. The Cardinals have gained around 4,421 total yards this season (552.6 ypg), and Jackson has accounted for 3,346 of them (418 ypg). That’s over 75% of their offense! So the bad news is Jackson is one of the best players in the country and probably the most athletic, agile, and explosive player in college football. The good news is if the Deacs can somehow manage to contain him, the Cardinals don’t have anything else on offense. That will be easier said than done.

Defense: Jonathan Greenard | RS Sophomore LB | #58

Jonathan Greenard is having a very successful second season for the Cardinals. So far this year, he’s recorded 34 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. While he is listed as a linebacker by the Louisville roster, from what I have seen he spends most of his time rushing the quarterback from the defensive line. As he is more of a linebacker than a defensive lineman, he uses quickness and athleticsm — rather than power and size — to blow by blockers and get into the backfield. Louisville is definitely more of an offensive team than a defensive one. The Cardinals’ defense is giving up up 383 yards per game (61st in the nation) and 29.4 points per game (87th in the nation) this season. 2 weeks ago they gave up 272 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground to just 1 guy — Boston College’s A.J. Dillon. The Deacs should be able to establish the running game in this one, but Greenard flying into the backfield could set them back into 3rd and long situations.