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Previewing the Louisville Cardinals Offense

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

In a matchup of teams that are winless in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Wake Forest travels to Cardinal Stadium to take on the Louisville Cardinals at noon on Saturday.

Louisville comes into this game with a record of 2-5 overall and 0-4 in the ACC, while Wake Forest is 3-4 and 0-3.

The Cardinals have struggled to replace Heisman winner Lamar Jackson at quarterback, but sophomore Jawon Pass has stepped in and done his best. Pass is 102-186 on the year and has thrown for 1229 yards, 6 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He averages 6.61 yards per attempt and has a QB rating of 112.4 (Sam Hartman’s is 119.3). Pass is not nearly the threat to run that Jackson was, as he has 43 attempts for -10 yards on the season. He does, however, have 2 rushing touchdowns.

Freshman Malik Cunningham is the backup quarterback, and started the Western Kentucky game. While he is not much of a passer, he leads the team in rushing. Cunningham is 22-34 for 198 yards passing, a passing touchdown, and an interception on the year. He averages 5.82 yards per attempt, and has a QB rating of 117.2. Cunningham has rushed 46 times for 223 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. He averages 4.8 yards per carry.

Freshman running back Hassan Hall has 36 carries for 152 yards and a touchdown, and averages 4.2 yards per carry. Junior Trey Smith has 32 carries for 148 yards and a touchdown, and averages 4.6 yards per carry. Sophomore Dae Williams has 22 carries for 71 yards and two touchdowns, and averages 3.2 yards per carry. Senior Jeremy Smith, freshman Colin Wilson, and 3rd string quarterback and freshman Jordan Travis also carry the ball from time-to-time. Sophomore offensive lineman Mekhi Becton also has a rushing touchdown.

The receiving corps is led by preseason All-ACC receiver senior Jaylen Smith, sophomore Dez Fitzpatrick, freshman Tutu Atwell, junior Davante Peete, senior tight end Micky Crum, and junior Seth Dawkins. Fitzpatrick has 22 receptions for 276 yards and 2 touchdowns, Smith has 16 for 152 yards and a touchdown, Atwell has 12 for 215 yards and 2 touchdowns, Peete has 15 for 197 yards, Crum has 16 for 164 yards and a touchdown, and Dawkins has 10 for 131 yards. Sophomore tight end Kemari Averett also has 8 receptions for 65 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Junior kicker Blanton Creque is 17-18 on extra points and 6-6 on field goals, with a season long from 46 yards. His career long is from 48 yards.

Louisville started off the season with a 51-14 loss to #1 Alabama. They won against Indiana State 31-7, came back to beat Western Kentucky 20-17 after trailing most of the game, lost to Virginia 27-3, lost to Florida State 28-24, lost to Georgia Tech 66-31, and lost to Boston College 38-20.

The Cardinals are averaging 20.4 points per game, 322.6 yards per game, 108.6 rushing yards per game, 214 passing yards per game, 6.4 yards per pass attempt, 3.4 yards per rushing attempt, 4.9 yards per play, 57.6 penalty yards per game, 18.7 first downs per game, 2.4 touchdowns per game, 1.3 rushing touchdowns per game, 1.1 passing touchdowns per game, and 65.4 offensive plays per game.

This game will be a battle of which team can find something to build upon, and will feature a lot of ugly football. Hopefully the Deacon defensive front can get a lot of pressure on Pass, and force him to try to run the ball some.