Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 23, 2015 Issue

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

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Page 41 of 113

WAKE FOREST RUNNING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME RUN DEFENSE The Demon Deacons entered the game averaging only 110 yards per game on the ground, but had 61 in the first quarter alone against the Irish. The total was up to 95 by halftime despite a couple of sacks on quarterback John Wolford. However, Wake Forest couldn't pick up the one yard it needed on fourth-and goal from the 1-yard line with 10:51 left in the second quarter, and in the fourth quarter a Wolford fumble on first-and-goal from the 1-yard line that lost eight yards also was costly. Running back Tyler Bell was effective with zone read mesh plays in the first half with 12 carries for 58 yards, but in the second half his 11 attempts netted only 32 yards, thereby putting too much pressure on the quarterbacks and passing game for a limited offense. ADVANTAGE: Notre Dame WAKE FOREST PASSING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME PASS DEFENSE No team among Power Five schools has had its quarterbacks more under siege the past two years than Wake Forest, which yielded 48 sacks last year and 31 through nine games before the Notre Dame contest this year. The Irish put repeated pressure on Wolford, highlighted by three sacks from senior de- fensive end Romeo Okwara. They also were credited with seven QB pressures as a team, three by defen- sive lineman Sheldon Day and two up the middle from fifth-year senior linebacker Joe Schmidt. To Wolford's credit, he was able to escape on numerous occasions with nifty footwork and a feel for pressure, plus he displayed courage in the pocket other times. Other than a sensational 52-yard leaping catch over cornerback Cole Luke by K.J. Brent, the dam- age through the air was minimal, with the other 18 completions accounting for only 9.3 yards per catch. The Irish effectively were able to mix in zone cover- ages in tighter quarters in the red zone. ADVANTAGE: Notre Dame NOTRE DAME RUNNING GAME VS. WAKE FOREST RUN DEFENSE It's difficult to recall when Notre Dame had only two players carry the ball in an entire game. Fresh- man running back Josh Adams (17 carries for 141 ON PAPER REVISITED BY LOU SOMOGYI The Irish passing attack was held in check for much of the game, but fifth-year senior slot receiver Amir Carlisle's 18-yard reception on third-and-10 in the first quarter was an important play during Notre Dame's first touchdown drive. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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