Down 12-0, No. 5 Louisville blows by Wake Forest 44-12
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Brandon Radcliff rushed for three touchdowns during Louisville's 41-point second half, and the No. 5 Cardinals roared past Wake Forest 44-12 on Saturday despite a relatively quiet night for Heisman Trophy front-runner Lamar Jackson.
Louisville (9-1, 7-1 Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 6 CFP) trailed 12-0 behind three lost first-half fumbles before shutting down the Demon Deacons, holding them to just 37 yards after halftime. That opened the door for Radcliff to run for 141 yards and TDs of 55, 7 and 19 yards.
Jackson appeared headed for his first scoreless game since Nov. 14 against Virginia before completing a 2-yard pass to Cole Hikutini with 4:05 left for one of Louisville's five touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Ronald Walker also had a 31-yard interception return for a TD in the final period, and Malik Williams added a 2-yard run with 50 seconds left.
Jackson rushed for a game-high 153 yards on 22 carries, but he was held to 145 yards passing. It just didn't matter with Radcliff sparking Louisville to another blowout after one of its worst starts this season.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons had it going in the first half, sacking Jackson four times and getting the takeaways they needed to build a lead. But Wake Forest never reached the end zone and couldn't stop Louisville in the second half.
Louisville: The Cardinals seemed inclined to continue their recent pattern of following dominance with a dud before regrouping to record five of their seven sacks after halftime. They outgained the Demon Deacons 491-214, including 363-37 in the second half.
Pitt's win at No. 2 Clemson should shake up the poll and playoff rankings, especially after Louisville regrouped to pour it on in the second half.
Wake Forest: Hosts No. 2 Clemson with a chance of spoiling the Tigers' bid to repeat as Atlantic Division champions. A Demon Deacons win could open the door for Louisville, though the Cardinals would lose the head-to-head division tiebreaker with Clemson.
Louisville: Faces a short week before visiting Houston on Thursday in what figures to be another major challenge. The Cardinals lost at home to the Cougars last season during their 0-3 start before recovering to win eight of their final 10 games and earn a bowl bid.
AP college football: collegefootball.ap.org