No. 19 Wake debuts 1st ranking since ’08 against Louisville

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              Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman passes during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Boston College in Boston, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
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Louisville (3-2, 1-1 ACC) at No. 19 Wake Forest (5-0, 1-0), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EDT (ACC Network).

Line: Wake Forest by 6 1/2.

Series record: Louisville leads 4-2.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Wake Forest is playing its first game as a Top 25 team in 11 years and a victory will give the Demon Deacons their first 6-0 start since the 1944 team opened with seven straight wins. For the Cardinals, knocking off Wake Forest would count as their first big victory under new coach Scott Satterfield — a native North Carolinian who played and coached 90 miles away at Appalachian State before taking the Louisville job last year.

KEY MATCHUP

Wake Forest’s offense vs. Louisville’s defense. The Demon Deacons’ snap-happy offense ranks second in the FBS with an average of 82 offensive plays run per game. QB Jamie Newman is fourth nationally with an ACC-best average of 356.6 total yards and two receivers (Sage Surratt and Scotty Washington) are in the top 20 nationally in average yards receiving. That puts a lot of pressure on a Cardinals defense that has given up at least 500 yards in two straight games.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Louisville: Freshman RB Javian Hawkins is coming off a season-best 172 yards rushing in last week’s victory over Boston College, and the Cardinals might need even more production from him if their path to an upset involves controlling the clock and keeping the Demon Deacons’ offense on the sideline.

Wake Forest: Newman quietly might be having the best season among current ACC quarterbacks — yes, even better than Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Newman, who took over last November when starter Sam Hartman was injured and then beat him out during preseason camp, leads the conference with averages of 356.6 total yards and 304.2 yards passing and a passer rating of 169.6.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is Wake Forest’s first game as a ranked team since a 26-0 loss at Maryland on Oct. 18, 2008. … The Cardinals are starting a stretch of three games against the ACC’s Top 25 teams. They play host to No. 2 Clemson and No. 20 Virginia on the next two Saturdays. … The last time the Demon Deacons started 5-0, they went on to win the ACC in 2006 and earned a spot in the Orange Bowl — where they lost to Louisville.