Trevon Young led a strong Louisville defense effort in the second half as the Cardinals travelled to Winston-Salem and held on to beat Wake Forest 20 – 19. Young, a junior defensive end, has been Louisville’s best player the past two weeks. He has had five sacks against both Florida State and Boston College. He continued his strong play with three more sacks and the play of the game. Leading by one in the closing minutes he made a strong move to get to Wake Forest’s quarterback Kendall Hilton and forced a fumble to seal the deal.
Young was not the only star of the defense as collectively they were able to force five turnovers in the second half. Four of the turnovers came by a host of Cardinals via interceptions.
Wake Forest totaled only 266 yards of total offense with 168 of those yards coming on three big plays. One of those plays was a 78 yard touchdown pass to Cortez Lewis in the first quarter to put the Demon Deacons up 10 – 0. It looked as if it could be a long night for the Cardinals as their offense once again was struggling to move the ball consistently on the ground and through the air.
The struggles would change midway through the second quarter when Lamar Jackson found Jamari Staples for a controversial 14 yard touchdown pass. It looked as if Staples was stopped just short of the goal line which would have brought up a fourth-and-goal situation. The touchdown call on the field was upheld after the replay.
Staples dominated on offense finishing with 133 yards and two touchdowns.
Lamar Jackson was effective at times such as he was right after Wake Forest scored with 55 seconds to play in the first half to go ahead 19 – 10. Jackson found Staples on a 22 yard touchdown pass to bring the Cardinals within two at the half. The drive showed Jackson’s potential as he needed only 33 seconds to move U of L downfield.
However, the night would not always be smooth sailing for the freshman quarterback. He threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns, but took to many negative plays and failed to move the ball consistently. Reggie Bonnafon replaced Jackson in the second half and then he gave way to Kyle Bolin to close out the game just as a baseball team would do.
Jeremy Smith was able to provide the Cardinals some sort of rushing game in the fourth quarter as he ran the ball 12 times for 58 yards.
Smith helped get U of L into field goal position, but the kick was blocked giving Wake Forest great field position at the Louisville 45 yard line. As was the case the entire second half, the Cardinal defense intercepted John Wolford’s pass at the three yard line.
With the win Louisville broke even at 4 – 4. Wake Forest fell to 3 – 6.
Louisville returns home next Saturday for a 12:30 game against Syracuse.