Wake Forest will have its hands full on Saturday when reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals visit BB&T Field for a 12:20 pm kickoff.
Louisville enters the game with a record of 5-3 and 2-3 in the conference. They defeated Florida State 31-28 last week, and have losses in conference to Clemson, NC State, and Boston College.
Jackson is 170 for 282 passing on the season for a whopping 2478 yards and a 60.8% completion rate. He has thrown for 17 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 8.79 yards per attempt.
Jackson is also by far the leading rusher with 136 attempts for 868 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. He is averaging 6.4 yards per attempt, and has a long of 51 yards on the season.
Senior running back Reggie Bonnafon is the second leading rusher with 59 attempts for 310 yards and 4 touchdowns. He averages 5.3 yards per attempt, and has a touchdown run of 64 yards to his credit.
Senior running back Malik Williams has 39 attempts for 274 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is averaging 7.0 yards per attempt, with a long on the season of 74 yards.
Freshman Dez Fitzpatrick is the leading receiver with 34 receptions for 554 yards and 7 touchdowns. He averages 16.3 yards per catch.
Junior Jaylen Smith is also a big-time receiver for the Cardinals, with 33 receptions for 546 yards and 2 touchdowns. He averages 16.5 yards per catch, and has a 75 yard touchdown reception to his credit on the season.
Sophomore receiver Seth Dawkins and senior tight end Charles Standberry are also big targets for Jackson to throw to.
Sophomore kicker Blanton Creque is 34-35 on extra points on the year, and 10-11 on field goals with a season long from 48 yards.
Louisville certainly depends on Jackson’s explosive playmaking, so if the Deacs have are to have a chance in this one, they need to figure out how to limit him early. Louisville’s offensive line is not as good this year as it was last year, as Jackson has been sacked 14 times, with 13 of those coming in conference play.
Putting pressure on Jackson will be the key, and if the Deacs figure out a way to do that early and often, they should be able to come out on top.