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What To Watch For: Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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This should be a game where we see the seniors shine.

Louisville v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

DEZ FITZPATRICK DESERVES A MILLION TARGETS

Louisville has had two of the worst seasons in recent history over the last four years. 2018 was obviously awful but this season will end with a very poor record as well as a cloud of controversy that is no fault of the players on the roster. A few players have played through all of this but I don’t know that any of them handled it as well as Dez Fitzpatrick.

Dez is a legit NFL talent who was redshirted for no apparent reason as a freshman and then burst onto the scene in his second year on campus. Since then, he hasn’t been able to reach his potential because of a myriad of things but he has continued to represent the program, himself, and the school very well. His effort as a blocker during the 2019 season is something I’ll never forget. It was his first shot to be “the guy” and it didn’t materialize. But he did the dirty work and it paid off. He will end his senior season as the leading receiver on the team and he deserves an opportunity to put on a show in his last game.

WHAT KIND OF EFFORT WILL WE SEE FROM THE PLAYERS

Scott Satterfield (and his agent) made an attempt to force Louisville’s hand when it comes to giving him a new contract. It went about as poorly as it could because Satterfield is a bit too honest to play the leverage game. He botched this horribly but he has been apologetic and he has the backing of a large amount of his players and his coaches. So what type of effort will we get when the ball is kicked at noon?

I tend to think that Satterfield knows he screwed up and I tend to think that Satterfield actually wants to be here and just has no clue how to angle for a new contract. The speech he gave to the team seems to have resonated and the players have given max effort all season long even though they’ve known for a month that they’re not playing in a bowl game. So I expect a big effort from a team that hasn’t given up in any game this year. Finishing this year with a win would be a good way to wash off the last week.

WE SHOULD SEE MORE VETERANS THAN YOUNG PLAYERS

Dez isn’t the only player that has been through the ringer during their time at UofL. Guys like Robbie Bell, Dorian Etheridge, CJ Avery, Russ Yeast, and Cole Bentley have dealt with all kinds of coaching changes and adversity. Avery and Etheridge have had multiple coordinators as well as multiple position coaches. Bell had an entire year thrown away due to a few garbage minutes in 2018 after an injury.

These guys remind me so much of the veteran players who bought in to what Charlie Strong was selling during his rebuild. Guys who got a shot to play when they hadn’t before or just never maximized their potential. As someone who believes that the program is headed in the right direction, these guys will be a big reason for the improvement that we will see down the road. My hope is that the staff prioritizes snaps for the seniors that will be moving on. It’s great to get snaps for young guys but this season is over and these players have earned one last spotlight.

LOUISVILLE’S OFFENSE WILL HAVE A BIG DAY IF THEY DON’T TURN IT OVER

Wake Forest doesn’t have a great defense. They’re not good at stopping the run and they have had some issues against the pass at times. They just do a really good job of forcing turnovers while their offense holds onto the ball like it’s a winning lottery ticket.

This is simple. Louisville has better athletes and they should have no issue moving the football if they don’t give it away.