Series History

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.

Stat Comparison

Louisville Wake Forest
Scoring Offense (ppg) 38.0 (36th) 20.3 (110th)
Total Offense (ypg) 389.3 (85th) 262.8 (124th)
Passing Offense (ypg) 252.8 (55th) 220.8 (81st)
Rushing Offense (ypg) 136.5 (93rd) 42.00 (127th)
Scoring Defense (ppg) 15.0 (12th) 20.3 (33rd)
Total Defense (ypg) 256.5 (7th) 308.3 (21st)
Passing Defense (ypg) 178.3 (26th) 148.0 (12th)
Rushing Defense (ypg) 78.25 (6th) 160.25 (75th)
Punt Returns (ypr) 6.56 (88th) 17.75 (16th)
Kickoff Returns (ypr) 26.56 (13th) 17.71 (106th)
Opponent Punt Returns (ypr) 6.90 (63rd) 5.00 (43rd)
Opponent Kickoff Returns (ypr) 25.13 (115th) 22.89 (99th)
Punting (ypp) 41.00 (82nd) 43.59 (40th)
Field Goal % 100% (1st) 100% (1st)
Opponent Field Goal % 85.7% (89th) 33.3% (5th)
First Downs (per game) 21.3 (81st) 16.5 (114th)
Opponent First Downs (per game) 12.8 (5th) 18.0 (31st)
Penalties (ypg) 40.5 (29th) 63.8 (93rd)
Turnover Margin (season) +2 (40th) -1 (75th)
Time of Possession 33:07.5 (14th) 26:47.00 (117th)
Sacks (per game) 2.75 (30th) 2.22 (56th)
Sacks Allowed (per game) 3.00 (112th) 3.75 (122nd)
Tackles for Loss (per game) 6.75 (39th) 7.75 (19th)
Tackles for Loss Allowed (per game) 7.00 (100th) 9.5 (125th)
Interceptions (season) 7 (5th) 3 (52nd)
Passes Defended (per game) 6.00 (15th) 4.00 (70th)
Fumbles Recovered (season) 3 (38th) 4 (23rd)
Fumbles Forced (season) 2 (71st) 4 (31st)
Fumbles Lost (season) 6 (124th) 1 (14th)
Kicks/Punts Blocked (season) 2 (7th)
3rd Down Conversions (%) 41.54% (67th) 35.09% (100th)
Opponent 3rd Down Conversions (%) 23.73% (3rd) 31.67% (33rd)
4th Down Conversions (%) 81.82% (15th) 33.33% (94th)
Opponent 4th Down Conversions (%) 20.00% (15th) 75.00% (101st)
Red Zone Conversions (%) 95.00% (20th) 86.67% (50th)
Opponent Red Zone Conversions (%) 69.23% (24th) 56.25% (6th)
RedZone TD Conversions (%) 80.00% (11th) 46.67% (108th)
Opponent Red Zone TD Conversions (%) 38.46% (18th) 43.75% (24th)
Kickoffs (ypk) 62.93 (38th) 63.22 (35th)
Plays 300 (27th) 263 (58th)
Yards Per Play 5.19 (92nd) 4.00 (122nd)

My Prediction

This is a shortened version of the usual preview due to my wedding.  But I wanted to at least get you guys the basics.

Louisville should beat Wake Forest.  The Demon Deacons have struggled offensively thus far in 2014 and are 5th from the basement in all of College Football for Yards Gained.  Louisville on the other hand has come back from being the #1 Defense in the nation in 2013 and still remain in the Top 10 (#7) in just 4 games.  In this way, Louisville should REALLY put on a show defensively on Saturday against Wake Forest.  Louisville’s Defense has been fantastic, but the best offense the Cards have faced sits at 395.8 yards per game (#84 in College Football).  Wake Forest may do well to just abandon their running attack against the Cards, but the Wake Offensive Line gives up way too many plays behind the line and could put their true freshman Quarterback John Wolford at risk.  This is a lopsided match-up.

The Cardinal offense, however, has NOT looked like a Bobby Petrino offense.  At least not consistently. Wake Forest’s Defense HAS played very well on paper, but the Deacons have yet to play an offense higher than #97 in Total Offense thus far in 2014.   Louisville’s offense is searching for stability and Wake Forest provides a fundamentally sound test on Saturday.  Wake Forest doesn’t do much in their defense, but they are very good at getting pressure particularly behind the line of scrimmage…….PERFECT.  Louisville needs to work against teams that can bring pressure and that’s exactly what Wake presents.  Teams have found more success on the ground than the air so far, but I’m really not sold on the passing games of any of Wake Forest’s opponents.

Bobby Petrino expressed frustration with his offense the last two games and while there could be an advantage on the ground I do think Coach Petrino will attempt to practice balance and give his team an opportunity to get a lot of reps with the #1 unit.  Right now I’d have to say that Reggie Bonnafon starts and plays the entire game a week after mourning the loss of his father and in replacement of Will Gardner who is nursing a knee injury.  With the way the defense is playing Louisville must reverse the turnover trend and control the ball.  I do think Jake Smith will start at Center and I think the staff may come back with Skylar Lacy at Guard after getting pulled early against FIU.  Lacy needs reps and experience, he will be a good player.  However, if things aren’t working early Chris Acosta might find himself back in the role that he had last year at Right Guard.

The Cards will have a quick turnaround and must TRAVEL to Syracuse following Saturday’s game against Wake Forest, so getting out of this game healthy is key.  I do think we’ll see a lot of Michael Dyer early on with a steady mix of Dominique Brown but these two may come to the sideline if things get out of hand.  Right now UofL is 2 players from being a good football team and 3 players from being a contender, so they must show that they can easily handle Wake Forest and win the program’s 1st divisional game in the ACC Atlantic.

Louisville 38, Wake Forest 3

Pre-Game Videos

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of

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