Back Louisville Spoils Wake’s Unbeaten Dreams

Back To ACC

Louisville Spoils Wake’s Unbeaten Dreams

By Dave Holcomb
SouthernPigskin.com
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin.  Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page

After the Demon Deacons knocked off Boston College on the road two weeks ago, it was assumed Wake Forest and Clemson were on a collision course to meet with both teams holding 9-0 records in Week 12. Louisville, though, had other plans.

It would take days to recap everything that happened in the Louisville-Wake Forest matchup in Winston-Salem on Saturday night. There were 1,118 total yards, 121 points, 16 touchdowns, including six in the fourth quarter, four quarterbacks throwing for at least two touchdowns each, a special-teams touchdown, a recovered onside kick … and a partridge in a pear tree.

But no matter how it’s broken down, Louisville edged Wake Forest, 62-59, thus ending the Demon Deacons’ seven-game winning streak and, very likely, their stint in the Top 25.

It also means there will be no undefeated matchup between Wake Forest and Clemson on Nov. 16.

After the Demon Deacons knocked off Boston College on the road two weeks ago, it was assumed Wake Forest and Clemson were on a collision course to meet with both teams holding 9-0 records in Week 12. Louisville, though, had other plans.

The Cardinals used their speed all night, particularly early, to burn Wake Forest with huge plays. In the first quarter alone, Louisville tallied touchdowns on a 55-yard pass from Micale Cunningham to Seth Dawkins and a 100-yard kickoff return from Hassan Hall.

Tutu Atwell set up the first Louisville touchdown of the second quarter with a 55-yard punt return as well. Just 10 seconds into the quarter, Wake Forest found itself in a 21-point hole.

The Demon Deacons battled back several times, and after the 14:50 mark of the second quarter, Wake Forest outscored Louisville, 52-34.

But that hole proved to be just a little too deep to climb out of at the end of the night.

Louisville used plenty of its speed to gain its big lead, but Wake Forest made uncustomary mistakes as well. The Demon Deacons came into the game with the fewest giveaways and penalties in the ACC.

But a Wake Forest fumble set up Louisville’s first touchdown of the night. Demon Deacons quarterback Jamie Newman threw two interceptions as well, one of which came in the red zone late in the first half when Wake Forest was trying to pull within single digits.

Furthermore, Wake Forest committed a season-high eight penalties for 59 yards.

Cunningham was terrific early for Louisville, throwing for 99 yards and two touchdowns on just six attempts, but he had to leave after flipping over and landing on his head during a scrambling play.

Freshman signal caller Eric Conley played the rest of the game, and while he did throw an interception, he also averaged more than 10 yards per pass with 196 yards and two touchdowns.

After hanging in with Notre Dame in Week 1, things appeared to be ahead of schedule at Louisville under first-year head coach Scott Satterfield, but picking up a win like this on the road in his first season is very unexpected. It’s Louisville’s first victory against a ranked opponent since Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals absolutely trounced Florida State in Week 2 of the 2016 season.

Louisville now already has as many ACC victories this season as it had total wins a year ago.

As for Wake Forest, its dream scenario of an undefeated matchup with Clemson and maybe even a shot at the ACC Atlantic Division came to a screeching halt about as fast as the hopes of accomplishing those goals came together.

Wake Forest is now 0-7 following a bye week during the regular season under coach Dave Clawson. That’s something to keep an eye on, as the Demon Deacons have another bye in two weeks.

But for now, it will be Louisville and not Wake Forest playing Clemson on an unexpected winning streak. The Cardinals will host the Tigers next week after having won their last two games.