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Snap Judgments: Notre Dame 38, Wake Forest 0

Nov 17, 2012, 7:38 PM EDT

Wake Forest v Notre Dame Getty Images

The Gatorade bath sincerely surprised Brian Kelly, distracted by Robby Toma until a few chilly gallons of hydration poured down on the Irish head coach’s head in celebration of an undefeated home schedule. In Notre Dame’s 38-0 victory, a game that was all but decided by the game’s tenth minute, the Irish celebrated the team’s eleventh straight victory, and took care of business quick enough to spend the rest of the afternoon honoring a senior class that did a miraculous job turning around this program.

Let’s run through a few of the questions we had before getting to the five things we learned.

Can Notre Dame control their emotions?

The Irish sure did, even after a very emotional pregame ceremony that honored the team’s 29 seniors.

“It went very well for us. I think our seniors really understood the difference between enthusiasm and emotion,” Kelly said after the game to NBC’s Alex Flanagan. “They played with great enthusiasm. They had fun. This is the way you should play college football.”

It was a day long tribute to Manti Te’o and company, with Tyler Eifert also getting the chance to break Ken MacAfee’s career catch record for Irish touchdowns.

How dominant will Notre Dame’s defensive front be?

It was plenty dominant as the Irish shut out Wake Forest, holding the Demon Deacons to just 209 yards, with many coming after the starters were out of the game. Louis Nix tied for the team lead in tackles with seven, while Stephon Tuitt got his 12th sack of the season. Sheldon Day also had five tackles and Kapron Lewis-Moore played a strong game chipping in three tackles, one TFL, a pass break-up and a QB hurry. With just 55 rushing yards for Wake Forest, the Deacs were one dimensional from the start.

Will the Irish offense do more than just enough?

That’s an understatement. Everett Golson had a first half that almost etched itself in the school record books, throwing for 317 yards and three touchdowns before coming out of the game early. Notre Dame racked up 430 yards of total offense in the game’s first 30 minutes, making big plays from the start.

How will the Irish look without DaVaris Daniels at wide receiver?

The Irish didn’t miss a beat without Daniels, with TJ Jones playing one of his finest games in a Notre Dame uniform and John Goodman making a terrific play on a 50-yard touchdown catch. That’s Goodman’s third touchdown in five catches on the season, all three deep strikes from Golson rolling right. Daniel Smith chipped in a first down grab as well.

Can the Irish dominate on the ground?

Check that box as well, with Notre Dame running for 221 yards on 30 carries. Cierre Wood had his best game of the season, running for 150 yards on just 11 carries, including a 68-yard touchdown run on the game’s first drive. It set the tone for the afternoon and jump started the offense. No other Irish back averaged even five yards a carry outside of Wood’s 13.6, with Theo Riddick picking up just 20 yards on six carries, but doing damage in the pas game.

How will the Irish secondary handle Michael Campanaro?

The secondary did exactly what they’ve done all year. Make tackles after giving up the underneath routes. Campanaro led the Deacs with six catches, but his longest catch was 16 yards and he was held to just 47 yards total. Tanner Price completed 22 of 33 passes, but only gained 153 yards on them, playing right into the Irish secondary’s hands.

Can the Irish finally dominate at home?



  1. tm8838 - Nov 17, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    11-0 and one more to go. Go Irish!

  2. 818irish - Nov 17, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Great way to send off a very special class that deserved a perfect senior day.

    … Now, it’s GO time.

    BEAT SC!!!

    Go Irish!

  3. ndfaithful - Nov 17, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    I’m so proud to be an Irish fan today. The fans and media honored the seniors and the seniors continued to honor the game and university with their terrific leadership and play.

    I’ve said all year that these guys could be special. They’ve already proven to be. One more win against our storybook rival and they will go down in history as one of the greatest Irish teams ever.

    It was fun to watch this one and enjoy a comfortable win. Finish strong Irish!

    Look at the difference in Golson now compared to week 1. Wow.
    They all look and play like a true team.


  4. papadec - Nov 17, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    WAY TO GO IRISH!!!!!!! GO BAYLOR! (7-0 early in the game) GO STANFORD!

  5. domer2003 - Nov 17, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    I don’t post often. It is really hard to express how proud I am of this team and how they represent the university.

    Since week 2 i’ve watched all the games in the same seat at the same bar (superstition anyone?), so I don’t know what they said on teh broadcast, but I was really happy to see them get BK with the gatorade bath. They all deserved it. Such a magical season. These seniors will be remembered, even more than the BQ/JS class. They are fantastic. And really… I hop that thing allow us to be in the NC game, but really… this team has already earned a place in Irish lore. They are wonderful. I’m so glad to see them finally pull out a “complete game” at home for senior day. Well deserved, and I can’t wipe the smile off my face.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:56 PM

      I found my niche too. ND socks and “The Shirt” from last year….can’t wear the ND sweatshirt though, because that causes us to play overtime games (sorry about that guys, i didn’t know).

      Also, we haven’t allowed a touchdown all season when i eat Qdoba.

      …in hindsight, it’s kinda scary that i keep track of this.

      Oh well, can’t wait to eat Qdoba :)

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Nov 17, 2012 at 11:11 PM

      What do they say? It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.

  6. nudeman - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    A great effing game
    I have thought for weeks we will beat SC
    Please let it be 1988 redux … not 1964
    And God bless Johnny Huarte

    • 9irish - Nov 17, 2012 at 11:01 PM

      Looks like the Irish might have a chance to make up for a couple of Nat’l Championships that USC cost Ara.
      Kansas St is discovering the big league spotlight….getting there ass kicked.
      Things are aligning

      Go Irish

  7. whodabigdog - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Just got back from the game. No new grey hairs today. Talked to one of Manti’s aunts before the game.Lovely lady, she must have hugged me 5 times while talking.Had a great time.Go Irish! beat USuC

  8. idratherbeinsouthbend - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    After watching many of the games today (as many as i could, because I’m a CFB junkie), I’m only further convinced that ND deserves a shot at the NC game regardless of any other outcomes today. And i come to this conclusion without taking into consideration our improving offense.

    Just look around the country at the games involving the top 25 or even just focus on the undefeated and one loss teams. THERE IS NO DEFENSE….ANYWHERE in these other games!

    Look at the other teams that play a HIGH LEVEL defense…GO AHEAD…LOOK AT THE SCORES…a defense virtually GUARANTEES that you will be in every game until the end. A good only guarantees that you can fool poll voters over and over again with 65-48 wins.

    As I write this, Stanford and Oregon are tied at 7-7 at halftime. And Stanford is PROVING my earlier suspicion. If you PUNCH OREGON IN THE MOUTH, what will happen? Well, it turns out, at least for one half of football, that Oregon is a fairly pedestrian team.


  9. tjak2 - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    After every game this year the experts said that there was a bomb waiting in the next game because we had an inexperienced QB, a weak secondary, poor special teams or a michael floydless receiving core. I think now is the time that we can say this Irish team is damn good. They could beat any team in the country on any given Saturday. We are a great Baylor second half away from beating USC and going to Miami. Go Irish.

  10. badgerbuck - Nov 17, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    If every thing works out Kansas state will lose week notre dame will lose to USC , which means it will be Oregon and alabama for the national championship

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:00 AM

      … flash….everything didn’t work out :) have a nice day

  11. goirishgo - Nov 17, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    Undisputed number one in the land.

    Go Irish! Beat USC!

  12. badgerbuck - Nov 17, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    I was wrong it will be alabama vs anyone but notre dame they just will NOT win against USC a team that has just spanked them the last few years

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:01 AM

      you don’t have a great history of predicting outcomes. 0-1 in these posts already. You are my new favorite troll though. What bridge do you live under?

  13. badgerbuck - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Hey it’s alright to be a fan I follow the Irish as well,but lets be realistic this team is just not championship material. Why in gods name do you want this team to get to the title game only to get its head bashed in by a more superior team such as Alabama it would just make every one so pissed off that they lost the title game,you know I’m right

    • papadec - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:45 AM

      11-0 is more championship material than ANY sec team with their one loss. I’ll laugh if Oregon holds on to #2 after losing in OT, to a team ND already beat.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:46 AM

      have you watched Alabama? They have a quality offense and a quality defense, but this isn’t your daddy’s ‘Bama. There’s not ONE SINGLE TEAM in the SEC that has played consistently this year. To be fair, neither has Notre Dame. But assuming that ND would get bashed by ANYBODY pretty much guarantees that you are the guy who ranked 11th in a poll of the ten dumbest guys in the world.

  14. audiguy - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    This is a team of destiny. Go Irish

  15. barneysbullet - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:49 AM

    Thank you guys for this win!!! I’m about to cry that WE’RE #1!!!!

    And already no one’s giving us a chance against SC. PLEASE.

    They don’t know what we’re made of. 😉

    GO IRISH!!!

  16. fjc1109 - Nov 18, 2012 at 6:31 AM

    A & M has showed the world how to dismantle ‘Bama. Now it’s on to LA to beat U$C. Go Irish!

  17. 1historian - Nov 18, 2012 at 8:35 AM


    I don’t think there are a lot of you out there who remember the 1964 game. I do.

    So does USC.

  18. 1historian - Nov 18, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    If there is anyone out there who is going to tell me that these players weren’t born, (nor were their parents maybe even their grandparents) in 1964, I have this message – you don’t get it.

  19. thenotredame10 - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    I do recall the 1964 game: how to lose a national championship by playing conservatively in the second half. ND ahead 17-0 at the half but loses 20-17.

    I prefer to concentrate on the 1966 game in which we won the national championship by shutting out USC 51-0. That team gave up just 37 points in 10 games and, if memory serves, had 6 shutouts. Offense also averaged 36 points per game.

    • 1historian - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:20 AM

      I too prefer to concentrate on the 1966 game – I listened to it on a short-wave radio on a base in the mid-east while on watch. If memory serves it was 17-0 with a few minutes left in the 1st half and I was getting nervous and then ND scored twice before the half to make it 31-0.

      All I was saying, and I’m sure you agree with me, is this – The Notre Dame USC rivalry is the oldest intersectional rivalry in college football – ANYTHING can happen.

      And usually does.

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