Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 23, 2015 Issue

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

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Page 42 of 113

yards and one touchdown) and sophomore quar- terback DeShone Kizer (13 carries for 30 yards and two touchdowns) carried the freight with a heavy emphasis on the read option and inside zone. Minus Adams' 98-yard game-breaking run, Notre Dame's 29 carries netted 73 yards, so credit must be given to Wake Forest overall. ADVANTAGE: Even NOTRE DAME PASSING GAME VS. WAKE FOREST PASS DEFENSE There was no downfield passing game for Notre Dame in the first half when Kizer completed 6 of 9 passes for 40 yards, with four of the completions shovel passes. Wake Forest's defensive plan centered on not allowing playmaking speedster Will Fuller to beat them over the top, so it rolled its coverage on his side and it proved effective by limiting the junior to three catches for 37 yards. Wake utilized extra preparation time to assemble a quality plan, and even sacked Kizer three times while forcing three other hurries. The 111 yards through the air averaged only 8.5 yards per comple- tion and 5.8 yards per attempt, numbers a defense would take any day. ADVANTAGE: Wake Forest SPECIAL TEAMS Sophomore Tyler Newsome's punt on the first series traveled 54 yards and pinned Wake Forest back at its 6-yard line. To start the fourth quarter, a 44-yard punt by Newsome forced Wake Forest to start at its 14. The negative for the Irish was freshman line- backer Te'Von Coney was penalized for roughing the snapper on a punt in the third quarter. That gave the Demon Deacons a first down at the Notre Dame 44 and kept alive their touchdown drive that cut their deficit to 21-7. Wake Forest missed a 51- yard field goal attempt right before the half, but the Irish also had another kickoff go out of bounds. ADVANTAGE: Even THIRD-DOWN CONVERSIONS On Notre Dame's first touchdown drive, in the first quarter, Kizer completed an 18-yard pass to fifth-year senior slot receiver Amir Carlisle on third- and-10, and junior wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr. took a shovel pass from Kizer 10 yards on third-and- three. On Wake Forest's touchdown that pulled it to within 21-7, Wolford completed a 13-yard pass to Tabari Hines on third-and-10. On Notre Dame's touchdown drive that made it 28-7, a third-and-four from the Wake Forest 23 resulted in a pass interference call on a fade pass to junior wide receiver Corey Robinson into the end zone. The Irish finished 6 of 11 (54.5 percent) against a top-10 third-down defense, while the Deacons were 7 of 16 (43.8 percent) — plus 0 of 3 on fourth down, including a miss at the Irish 1-yard line. ADVANTAGE: Notre Dame TURNOVERS The game's lone turnover resulted in a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown by Notre Dame sophomore defensive end Andrew Trumbetti to make the score 14-0. On a day dominated by de- fense, that proved vital. ADVANTAGE: Notre Dame ANALYSIS Notre Dame ran only 23 plays in the first half compared to Wake Forest's 40 — yet the Fighting Irish led 21-0 at the intermission. That shows how misleading stats can be. Wake Forest was 0 of 2 in the red zone in the first 30 minutes, while Notre Dame scored on an inter- ception return and a 98-yard run from scrimmage. Wake Forest also had a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter and couldn't muster any points. The difference came down to those two huge plays by Notre Dame and the Deacons coming up empty on three of their four red zone chances. ✦ ON PAPER REVISITED BY LOU SOMOGYI

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