Well, just another uneventful week in Louisville Football news. What, not every coach penned an apology letter to the fan base this week?!? While fans and “media” may be focusing on the wandering eyes story my hope is the staff and players don’t lose sight of the (wake) forest for the trees, if you know what I mean. Last game of the year, Senior Day, let’s close this thing out right.
This week we got a chance to sit down with Cameron Lemons Debro from over at ‘Blogger So Dear’. Those guys and gals cover the Wake Forest Demon Deacons all day every day so you know they are bringing the knowledge, likely while wearing a top hat, and cruising around the field on their Harley. Normal every day stuff. Let’s do it.
I’m really not sure what to make of Wake Forest, Cameron as their season has more gaps than a jack-o-lantern mouth. Five official “bye” weeks during the year and then a cancelled game against Duke means Wake has only played seven times this year. Has the disjointedness of the season made it difficult to follow or get excited about?
Hard to follow no, I’d say more of an appreciation. Bye weeks are at times nice because it’s a week you don’t have to worry about your team to give you a heart attack while trying to find a stream for the ACC Network because your carrier doesn’t have it. But as the weeks go on, you realize how much you miss cheering on these guys and it helps the excitement a bit, but also being cognizant of what it took to get to this point.
When Wake has taken the field they have actually put up some decent performances against some good teams. After beating Virginia and Virginia Tech back to back they also took care of Syracuse, carrying a three game win streak to North Carolina and then...sorry, too soon? The offense has been putting up some big numbers in those games, win or lose. Who has been carrying the load on that side of the ball?
The UNC game still stings a bit for a multitude of reasons that I won’t be getting into. But to answer your question, a little bit of everyone. QB Sam Hartman has very quietly put up a very good season, and finally was on the right side of touchdown variance against UNC. While outside receiver has been a question all season, Donavon Greene seemed to come online during the last game, Jaquarri Roberson has been one of the best receivers in the NCAA out of the slot, Taylor Morin has been a reliable option.
Wake is also extremely balanced which has meant the Running Backs have been getting theirs. Kenneth Walker III and Christian Beal-Smith have been going back and forth with who’d have the pop off game. Walker actually opted out this week with the surge in COVID cases, meaning CBS will be getting the bulk of the carries, but with the way this OL is run-blocking, the sky is the limit.
While the defense as a unit has had some struggles the veteran lineman Basham and Fox are a force in the trenches. With the Cards missing a couple backs due to opt out and injury (Hawkins/Burkley) do you think they’ll have a difficult time establishing a ground game?
It’s all going to come down to health/availability. Clemson is Clemson and any tape against them should be burned more than likely. But against NC State and the 2nd half of the UNC game, Wake barely had enough scholarship players to survive. If the defense is as healthy as it was during the UVA/VT/Cuse stretch then 100% I expect them to adopt the same plan they had against VT: take away the run, put a spy on the QB, and force Cunningham to beat him. When they adopted that game plan, Khalil Herbert(one of the better RBs in the country) had a 14/64/0 stat line.
Bonus question: Wake let go of Danny Manning this year and replaced him with a guy who sounds like a stud investment banker, Steve Forbes. What’s your thoughts about ‘20-’21 Wake MBB (assuming we play more than 10 games)?
While I was lukewarm to warm about the hire (my biggest question was about recruiting for him) Forbes deserves an A for what he’s done so far. Landing two 4 stars and an upper 3 stars after the last few years Wake has had on the court is a coup, and while I don’t have high expectations in terms of the win column, through 2 games the team looks night and day from when Manning was the coach. There’s an actual offense being run, people are trying defensively, hustling, it’s a breath of fresh air. How many games do they play? Wish could tell you.
What scares you about Louisville, if anything, at this point in the season?
Letting Cunningham get in the zone. I have a lot of respect for him and as a fan of true Dual-Threat QBs, I have a lot of respect for what he can do to contort a defense. If he can get into a rhythm, it’s not like Louisville doesn’t have skill players even with the losses of Hawkins/Atwell/Burkley
Alright, this appears to be Louisville’s final game of the season which one would hope translates to an “extra effort” from the team on a completely chaos filled Senior week. How do you see this game playing out? Shoot me a final score prediction.
This game is going to be sloppy for the first half. I do think Wake’s defense finally got a chance to be healthy so it’s truthfully going to come down to who’s available due to contact tracing. Give me Wake 31-24
Big thanks to Cameron this week for his time and answers. Go check out ‘Blogger So Dear’ over on twitter and be sure to put Cam in your Top 10 on MySpace. Thats still a thing, right? Thanks to everyone who checked out these Q&A’s this season. The results certainly were not what we expected on the field but glad we got to watch them play this year instead of shutting it all down. Bad football is always better than no football in my opinion. Oh, and by the way....267 days until kickoff, 2021. Go Cards.