Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 23, 2015 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 35 of 113

BY ANDREW OWENS I t wasn't pretty, and it wasn't easy, but Notre Dame sloppily put the finishing touch on a perfect home season with a 28-7 win against Wake Forest. Through three quarters, the Irish (9- 1) found themselves up 21-7 against the ACC bottom feeder, despite the Demon Deacons (3-7) leading in time of possession 29:25 to 15:35. One final Notre Dame touchdown in the fourth quarter, however, put away Wake For- est for good. Sophomore quarterback DeShone Kizer's five-yard touchdown rush — his second of the game — gave the Irish a three-score advantage that might not satisfy fans or possibly even the College Football Playoff selection committee. "When you're out there and you're going from drive to drive, it bothers you that you're not out there with the momentum that we typically have," Kizer said. "But now realizing that it's November and we just came out with a 21-point win, it's huge for us. We're moving forward. "We have a win streak going. We have things rolling for the offense, and the defense came out and had an out- standing game. To hold a team like that to seven points, an ACC team, who was doing some really cool things, is huge for us, especially at this time of the year." In addition to the slew of season- ending injuries suffered earlier in the campaign, Notre Dame was also with- out senior running back C.J. Prosise (concussion), sophomore tight end Nic Weishar (undisclosed injury) and sophomore nose guard Daniel Cage (concussion). Also, junior linebacker James Onwualu left the game with a sprained knee. Notre Dame benefited from a bend- but-don't-break defense in the first half that allowed Wake Forest to ac- cumulate — excluding yards lost on Irish sacks — 113 yards on 24 rushes (4.7 yards per carry). In the Demon Deacons' first nine games, they ranked 123rd in the nation with a measly 3.1 yards per rushing attempt. While Wake Forest picked up 23 first downs in the game due in large part to its rushing attack, Notre Dame fresh- man running back Josh Adams took a different approach when he rattled off 98 yards on one play for the longest score from scrimmage in Irish history. WINNING UGLY Notre Dame didn't earn any style points, but emerged with a 28-7 victory versus Wake Forest

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