Drive Chart
ND
WAKE

No. 8 Notre Dame heads to Wake Forest

Notre Dame has been solid if not overwhelming in three home games, and now the eighth-ranked Fighting Irish take their first road venture.

"We have a challenge on the road," coach Brian Kelly said. "We know we have to play at a high level to win on Saturday. ... Just understanding when you're on the road, momentum usually works against you. Those things don't generally decide the game, it's still about your execution and your preparation."

Saturday afternoon's game against Wake Forest at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, N.C., ought to give Kelly, whose team is 3-0 for the fourth time in the past seven years, another indication of the development of his team.

Notre Dame is one of nine teams nationally with unbeaten records with a schedule exclusively against Football Bowl Subdivision competition.

This could be a chance for the Irish to get their offense cranked up given Wake Forest's mishaps in pass coverages. The Demon Deacons (2-1) gave up five passing touchdowns last week to Boston College.

"Defensively, right now, we're not playing well in the secondary," Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said. "It's just all explosives."

Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush blistered Wake Forest with 280 passing yards and 110 rushing yards in last year's game in South Bend, Ind.

Yet Wimbush has been mistake-prone at times this season, with four interceptions compared to one touchdown toss in three games.

Part of Wimbush's issues might come from a youthful receiving corps.

"Growing pains. We're still growing," Kelly said of the unit. "We're all trying to look for that consistency in performance."

Wake Forest linebacker Justin Strnad said the defense has been hindered by biting on play-action fakes, leaving the secondary vulnerable.

On top of Wake Forest's woes in giving up big plays, Notre Dame has scored in the first four minutes of games in eight different games covering a two-season span.

Last Saturday's game against Vanderbilt was the fifth straight victory for Notre Dame in which it held the opposing team to fewer than 20 points.

The biggest clash could come when Wake Forest's rushing attack meets Notre Dame's defensive front. Wake Forest has gained 264 yards per game on the ground, while Notre Dame has allowed 107 rushing yards per outing.

Notre Dame's defense that hasn't given up a rushing play of 20 or more yards this season.

"A prolific offense," Kelly said of Wake Forest. "They're starting a true freshman quarterback in (Sam) Hartman, but he's really comfortable in the offense. He's supported with a really good offensive line. ... This is the first week where we have batch of film and have a pretty good sense of what we're getting."

Wake Forest running back Cade Carney has reached the 100-yard mark the past two games, while Matt Colburn was the team's leading rusher in the Boston College game with 117 yards (compared to Carney's 116).

Notre Dame didn't have to deal with dynamic receiver/punt returner Greg Dortch last year because the Wake Forest standout was injured.

"He can take over a football game, an electric player," Kelly said of Dortch. "He's someone we have to keep an eye on as it relates to special teams."

Wake Forest's offense had done plenty to get Kelly's attention. For the first time in school history, the Demon Deacons have racked up 500 or more yards of total offense in four consecutive games.

Yet the Demon Deacons often slumped in the red zone.

"We continue to have red-zone struggles," Clawson said. "We end up kicking field goals. Anytime you don't score a touchdown down there, they're just points you're leaving off the board."

That's underscored by freshman kicker Nick Sciba, who has kicked six field goals -- five coming from less than 30 yards away.

Notre Dame is the highest-ranked non-conference opponent to visit Wake Forest since the Demon Deacons pulled a September 1996 shocker by toppling No. 13 Northwestern. There was also a 1979 upset of No. 13 Auburn.

But in large part, Wake Forest hasn't had much success against rated foes. The Demon Deacons are 23-134-1 against Top 25 opposition, though they defeated No. 25 North Carolina State last November.

This is the fifth meeting in an eight-season stretch between the teams.

Wake Forest is the first of five Atlantic Coast Conference opponents for Notre Dame this season.

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Scoring Summary
No Scoring Plays
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8 Notre Dame 3-0 -----
Wake Forest 2-1 -----
0 AVG PASS YDS 0
0 AVG RUSH YDS 0
0 AVG TOTAL YDS 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
B. Wimbush 7 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
-% - - - -
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55.3% 589 1 4 114.2
B. Wimbush 42/76 589 1 4
I. Book 12 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
-% - - - -
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
100% 13 1 0 246.4
I. Book 3/3 13 1 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
T. Jones Jr. 6 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
39 224 2
T. Jones Jr. 39 224 2 31
J. Armstrong 8 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
39 147 3
J. Armstrong 39 147 3 42
B. Wimbush 7 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
49 136 1
B. Wimbush 49 136 1 22
A. Davis 3 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
4 -2 0
A. Davis 4 -2 0 2
I. Book 12 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 -3 0
I. Book 1 -3 0 0
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
M. Boykin 81 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
8 161 0
M. Boykin 8 161 0 28
C. Finke 10 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
10 101 1
C. Finke 10 101 1 43
C. Claypool 83 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
7 100 0
C. Claypool 7 100 0 23
A. Mack 86 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 74 0
A. Mack 6 74 0 26
J. Armstrong 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 72 0
J. Armstrong 5 72 0 27
T. Jones Jr. 6 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 56 0
T. Jones Jr. 2 56 0 32
C. Kmet 84 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 17 0
C. Kmet 2 17 0 18
B. Wright 89 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 9 0
B. Wright 1 9 0 9
N. Weishar 82 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 4 1
N. Weishar 2 4 1 2
A. Davis 3 QB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 4 0
A. Davis 1 4 0 4
K. Austin 4 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 4 0
K. Austin 1 4 0 4
Defense T-A SACK INT
J. Elliott 21 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
- - -
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 2 0.0
J. Elliott 0-0 0.0 2
J. Okwara 42 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
- - -
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
J. Okwara 0-0 0.0 1
T. Pride Jr. 5 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
- - -
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
T. Pride Jr. 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
J. Yoon 19 K
IN-GAME FG XP
-/- -/-
SEASON FG XP
5/7 7/7
J. Yoon 5/7 0 7/7 22
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
S. Hartman 10 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
-% - - - -
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55.3% 834 6 5 120.2
S. Hartman 68/123 834 6 5
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
C. Carney 36 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
53 300 2
C. Carney 53 300 2 42
M. Colburn II 22 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
48 196 1
M. Colburn II 48 196 1 35
S. Hartman 10 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
41 193 1
S. Hartman 41 193 1 23
C. Beal-Smith 26 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
6 68 0
C. Beal-Smith 6 68 0 52
D. Delaney 29 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
7 32 0
D. Delaney 7 32 0 12
G. Dortch 3 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 4 0
G. Dortch 1 4 0 4
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
G. Dortch 3 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
28 336 1
G. Dortch 28 336 1 39
S. Surratt 14 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
18 263 1
S. Surratt 18 263 1 41
A. Bachman 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
9 116 3
A. Bachman 9 116 3 22
M. Colburn II 22 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 41 0
M. Colburn II 3 41 0 25
S. Claude 88 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 40 0
S. Claude 3 40 0 26
C. Carney 36 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 16 0
C. Carney 2 16 0 9
B. Chapman 23 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 11 0
B. Chapman 2 11 0 9
J. Freudenthal 86 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 11 1
J. Freudenthal 3 11 1 6
Defense T-A SACK INT
E. Bassey 21 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
- - -
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
E. Bassey 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
N. Sciba 96 K
IN-GAME FG XP
-/- -/-
SEASON FG XP
6/7 12/12
N. Sciba 6/7 0 12/12 30
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD