The University of Louisville and Wake Forest have met on the gridiron just once. The 2007 Orange Bowl. It was Bobby Petrino’s last game before leaving the program for the Atlanta Falcons and the last time Wake Forest finished on top of the ACC Atlantic Division. Now the Cards and Deacons will play annually as division mates in the ACC Atlantic. But let’s take a look at the 2007 Orange Bowl.
Louisville came into the game as the #5 team in the AP Poll with Wake Forest checking in at #15. Jim Grobe’s team had an impressive season and were 11-2 coming into the game with impressive wins over Boston College, Florida State, and Georgia Tech. The Demon Decons ran a very unique offense that presented a lot of problems for defenses throughout the year.
Louisville on the other hand had blown a 25-7 lead over Ray Rice’s Rutgers to run the table, but still owned impressive wins over Miami, Kansas State, and West Virginia. The Cards had a reputation as a high-scoring offense but really held opponents down on the defensive side of the ball better than any team during the Petrino era.
As for the game, things were tight throughout. Neither team scored in the 1st quarter but Wake Forest took advantage of an absolutely horrendous punt by Corey Goettshe that traveled just to the Louisville 28. The Demon Deacons went 3 AND OUT and settled for a Field Goal to break the seal. The Cards immediately answered with a 14-play, 61 yard Field Goal Drive. After another 3 AND OUT, Louisville finally let Pat Carter throw the football on a trick play to Anthony Allen for a Touchdown and took a 10-3 lead.
Wake failed to answer and the Cards got out of a bind when Kenneth Moore fumbled the ball over to Malik Jackson in scoring territory. Just before halftime, Deacon Kicker Sam Swank missed a 47-yarder as time expired.
But in the 3rd quarter Wake Forest quickly knotted the score when another short punt gave Wake Forest great field position and Riley Skinner hit Nate Morton with a 30-yard strike to tie the ballgame. Mario Urruita then fumbled in scoring position for the Cardinals and UofL returned the favor with Malik Jackson again recovering a fumble with Wake Forest in scoring position. Art Carmody missed a 32-yard Field Goal that negated a 50-yard pass & catch from Brian Brohm to Harry Douglas and the game went into the 4th quarter knotted.
The 4th quarter was extremely eventful and the Cards found themselves behind after a Sam Swank 36-yard Field Goal set up by some good running from Kenneth Moore and De’Angelo Bryant. Immediately UofL responded with a surgical drive it had become known for with several large chunks of yards and capped off with a 1-yard run by Anthony Allen and the Cards took at 17-13 lead.
The Orange Bowl was clinched on the next 3 possessions when the Cards got a 3 AND OUT and then drove the ball down the field on a 10-play, 71 yard and 5:26 drive capped off with a Brock Bolen 18-yard TD run. William Gay sealed the deal with an interception during an attempted comeback with the Demon Deacons in scoring territory. Louisville went on to hoist the Orange Bowl Trophy 24-13.
The Wake Forest & Louisville series has just one game. But it was a great football game to watch and a big chapter in the history of both programs. We’ll see what other history we can write now as division mates.