It looks like there is a good chance Wake Forest is going to get to play some football this weekend, but in an effort to not jinx anything, I’ll simply say that at the time this article was written, Wake Forest is still scheduled to play a football game on Saturday. To prepare for said game, let’s take a quick look at the Louisville defense.
The Louisville defense has been fairly average this season. The Cardinals rank 55th in the nation in scoring defense, giving up 27.2 points per game, and 46th in the nation in total defense, giving up 371 yards per game. The Cards have been much better against the pass than the run so far this season; through 10 games, Louisville is allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete just 55.6% of their passes (19th in nation) for 185.7 passing yards per game (18th). Against the run, however, the Cardinals are allowing 185.2 yards per game (88th) and 4.8 yards per carry (95th). That probably means that the Deacs should leaning heavily on Christian Beal-Smith and the rushing attack in this game.
The Cardinals’ 3-4 defense is led by one of the better linebacking corps in the conference. Between senior C.J. Avery, redshirt senior Rodjay Burns, redshirt junior Monty Montgomery, senior Dorian Etheridge, and junior Yasir Abdullah, the Louisville linebackers have no lack of experience. Through 10 games, Avery leads the Cardinals in tackles and has stuffed the stat sheet, recording 70 total tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, 1 interceptions, and 3 passes defended. Burns isn’t far behind him with 50 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, and 2 passes defended. Montgomery leads Louisville with 4.0 sacks, and Etheridge leads the team with 9.5 tackles for loss. Not to be outdone, Abdullah has 7 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles this season. Based on all of that, it is obvious that the Louisville linebackers are a very experienced group that cover a lot of ground and spearhead the Cardinal defense.
With Wake Forest having not played in forever, it’s hard to tell how successful they will be attacking the Louisville defense on Saturday. It’s even harder to predict because the Cardinals have really been all over the place this season, going from giving up 46 points and 450 yards to a pretty bad Georgia Tech team, to holding playoff hopeful Notre Dame to 12 points and 338 yards in the span of a week. In their last 2 games, the Cards shut out Syracuse, holding the Orange to a pathetic 137 yards, and then allowed 34 points and 435 yards in a loss to Boston College. It seems like we will have to wait until Saturday to see which Louisville defense shows up.