WAKE CAN CONTROL THE BALL IF JOHN WOLFORD ISN'T CONTAINED
Wake Forest doesn't have a very good offense on paper. They don't really even look all that great when you watch them play. What they do have is a quarterback that can make enough plays with his legs that he creates manageable third downs. One of the big keys to Louisville's defense is forcing long third down situations so that they can either blitz and get pressure, or sit back in zone and let their athletes jump routes and close down windows. When it gets into third and short it gives the offense some advantages and those are the things that this offense is able to do pretty well.
John Wolford is the type of player that is legitimately "sneaky fast". He's not a dynamic runner like Lamar Jackson, Greg Ward, or Nick Fitzgerald. He's more along the line of a Deshaun Watson or Jesse Ertz. Wolford won't beat guys around the edge with ease or make a man miss that's squared up on him. He will, however run away from people in the open field and get chunk yardage on a scramble. Louisville doesn't want to get into another close game like they did against UVA and Duke. Wake is a veteran team with confidence that will take advantage of that type of game and they can pull off the upset.
LOUISVILLE'S OFFENSE HAS TO PROTECT THE FOOTBALL
Louisville's offense is playing at an unbelievably high level and they are coming off a game in which they didn't commit a penalty. But, the offense can still improve going into a stretch of games against teams with solid defenses and offenses that can control the ball. A good (and unpopular) example of this is the Clemson game. Louisville was able to keep that game close because Clemson turned the ball over in scoring situations. Lesser teams have shown that it's possible to keep the game close with UofL and the last thing they want is for a team like Houston to get a couple of turnovers and get extra opportunities to move the ball down the field and eat up clock. Louisville has lost more fumbles than any team in the country and Wake has recovered the 13th most. That's the type of stat that can change a game.
WILL LOUISVILLE'S CROWD SHOW UP FOR A PRIME TIME GAME?
Louisville football has reached an unfortunate part of the season where even though they are highly ranked and they have the eventual Heisman winner, they are getting a little "old". What I mean by that is that they received so much fanfare, coverage, and hype early in the season that they are becoming a team that can be hard for some to get excited about. When you throw in the fact that basketball season starts on Friday night and Wake isn't a big name team and it's fair to wonder if UofL fans show out in full force Saturday night. New uniforms and a national audience usually brings out the best in UofL fans and here's to hoping that that continues.
CAN LOUISVILLE GET ANOTHER DOMINANT WIN AGAINST A BOWL TEAM?
Louisville is relying on a blowout win against FSU for it's only impressive win so far this season. They don't have another win over a team with a winning record and they have two close games against teams that they should have out-classed. Wake provides this team with an opportunity to get another win against a team with a strong record on paper. Wake could easily end the regular season at 6-6 but as of now, they are a team that helps Louisville's resume. The only issue is that a close win in a game like this provides more ammo for the idea that Louisville "hasn't beaten anyone". Close wins can turn into losses in the eyes of many and I think that can be fair when it comes to multiple close wins. Especially, if you don't have impressive wins to hang your hat on. A big win over a Wake team with a 6-3 record could help Louisville a lot more than beating a BC team that has one of the worst offenses in the country and a misleading defense (they feasted on Buffalo and Wagner) or a NC State team that lost to that same BC team. Eyes will be on this game and they need to take advantage of it.