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ACC & Big 12 Week 7 Roundup: Louisville hands Wake Forest first loss of the season

In one of the highest-scoring games in Atlantic Coast Conference history, Louisville held off undefeated Wake Forest 62-59 at BB&T Field on Saturday. The combined 121 points rank second only to the 137 points scored in Pittsburgh’s 76-61 win over Syracuse in 2016.

This victory was the Cardinals’ first ACC road win since winning at Florida State on Oct. 21, 2017 and snapped a 10-game losing streak against teams ranked in the AP poll.

“All praise to the offense — they came out and just did everything they needed to do,” Louisville nose tackle G.G. Robinson said. “We won. It’s still tough to look at 600 yards of offense we gave up, but a win is a win so it is a big win over a bigtime opponent and we can definitely see why they’re the No. 1 offense in the ACC.”

The Cardinals started racking up points early on thanks to its quick-strike special teams and big-play receivers, which helped them keep the lead against a resilient Wake Forest offense.

Louisville quarterback Micale Cunningham threw two touchdown passes — a 55-yarder to Seth Dawkins and a 9-yarder to Tutu Atwell — before being forced out of the game in the second quarter with an injury. Cunningham was relieved by freshman Evan Conley, who had only seen action in two previous games (Western Kentucky in Week 3, Boston College in Week 6).

“Evan’s a calm customer,” Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield said. “He’s just really even keeled, and he plays his heart out. He’s very cerebral so he studies film like crazy, and he’s talented, too.”

Wake Forest’s offense finished with 668 total yards, but three turnovers kept the Demon Deacons from ever taking the lead. Quarterback Jamie Newman completed 24 of 41 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns but was removed late in the fourth quarter from an injury while Wake Forest was trailing 52-31.

Backup Sam Hartman, who was the starter for most of the 2018 season, came in to help the Demon Deacons rally with two touchdown passes in 35 seconds.

Though Louisville’s freshman quarterback, Conley, came up big several key moments, his most notable play of the game was a critical 41-yard touchdown with 2:15 remaining to put the Cards up 62-52. Conley finished the game with 196 passing yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 79 yards and a score.

The Wake Forest offense answered with a scoring drive that covered 92 yards in seven plays, capped off by a 1-yard run into the end zone by Hartman with 1:10 remaining. The Demon Deacons attempted an onside kick, but Atwell came up with the ball and the Cardinals ran out the clock to seal their first big win under Satterfield.

“It’s a team that was ranked 19th and 17th in the Coaches Poll,” Satterfield said. “It’s a team that was 5-0, a really hot team, very good offense and to come out here and for our guys to fight the way they did, I’m extremely proud of them.”

Now let’s take a look at a few more highlights from an exciting Week 7 in the ACC and Big 12:

No. 6 Oklahoma 34, No. 11 Texas 27: The Sooners led wire-to-wire in their victory over the Longhorns, as Jalen Hurts threw three touchdown passes to CeeDee Lamb, who had a career-high 10 catches for 171 yards. On the opposite side of the ball, the Oklahoma defense also sacked Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger nine times in the victory.

No. 22 Baylor 33, Texas Tech 30 (2OT): The Red Raiders almost upset their second Top 25 team in a row in a double-overtime battle, but the Bears managed to come out on top thanks to a 5-yard touchdown run by JaMycal Hasty.

Iowa State 38, West Virginia 14: Freshman running back Breece Hall led the Iowa State offense to victory over West Virginia with 132 rushing yards and three touchdowns. In addition to losing the game, the Mountaineers also quarterback Austin Kendall to injury; his status for this week’s game against Oklahoma is unknown.

NC State 16, Syracuse 10: The Wolfpack defense sacked Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito eight times, including once by Larrell Murchinson in the final seconds, to seal NC State’s Thursday night victory in Carter Finley Stadium.

Miami 17, No. 20 Virginia 9: Bryce Perkins’ 252 passing yards and 27 rushing yards were not enough to stop the Hurricanes from knocking off the No. 20 Cavaliers. Miami backup quarterback N’Kosi Perry led the offense to victory with a touchdown pass to DeeJay Dallas in the opening drive and a game-winning 3-yard run into the end zone with 2:31 remaining.

No. 2 Clemson 45, Florida State 14: The Tigers asserted their dominance and answered any lingering questions about their close call at North Carolina with a 45-14 rout of Florida State. Running back Travis Etienne had 17 carries for 127 yards to lead Clemson to its 21st consecutive win.

Duke 41, Georgia Tech 23: Georgia Tech scored a touchdown on the opening drive, but the Blue Devils answered with 38 consecutive points before the half. The Yellow Jackets limited Duke to just three second-half points, but it wasn’t enough to complete the rally.