WHO? No. 3 Notre Dame (7-1) vs. Wake Forest (5-3), otherwise known as defensive coordinator Mike Elko’s current employer against his former employer, respectively.
WHAT? It’s pretty simple, really. If the Irish win their remaining four games, they have a very good chance — though not a sure thing — of reaching the College Football Playoff. If they lose so much as one, Orlando is nice in late December or early January.
WHEN? 3:41 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Note: Come Sunday, those clocks pivot back to standard time. It is truly one of the best weekends of the year, albeit created by one of the most-outdated practices still maintained. Daylight saving time, the designated hitter and unicycles — all things that have hung around in society long enough.
WHERE? Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Ind., and broadcast on NBC.
The game will also be available through the NBC Sports app or online at: http://stream.nbcsports.com/notre-dame/notre-dame-wake-forest
WEATHER? If you like 50-degree rain, then here is some great news: The day in South Bend is expected to be around 50 degrees with a strong likelihood of rain throughout the day. Let’s just avoid lightning.
WHY? In many respects, the Irish suffering a loss so early in the season gave each and every subsequent week a distinct impetus. If undefeated, it would be conceivable Notre Dame might start to think of grandeur, or at least of a trip to Miami in a week. If losing more recently, the deflating aspect might crush all hopes of righting the ship to reach the Playoff. Instead, the Irish know exactly what position they are in and seem to be focused appropriately.
As for the Demon Deacons, they are a win away from bowl eligibility and besting the win total over/under mark of 5.5. While they would certainly like to snag that victory in an attention-grabbing upset, they still have two prime chances remaining if needed (at Syracuse on Nov. 11; vs. Duke on Nov. 25).
BY HOW MUCH? The looming weather may dampen the game’s total score, but current odds project Notre Dame to win by two touchdowns with a combined point total over/under of 55. In other words, bookmakers expect the Irish to win 34-20.
Notre Dame has scored fewer than 35 points only once this year with its starting quarterback, junior Brandon Wimbush, taking snaps. That was the 20-19 loss to now-No. 1 Georgia in the season’s second week. The Bulldogs are also the only team to reach 20 points against the Irish.
Expecting Wake Forest to join Georgia in either category seems far-fetched, so let’s flip a touchdown to Notre Dame and then round up to make it consistent with a typical football tally.
Notre Dame 42, Wake Forest 13. (6-2 record on the season.)
THIS WEEK’S INSIDE THE IRSH READING:
— Monday’s Leftover: Notre Dame embraces Adams’ Heisman hopes with ’33 Trucking’ theme
— Notre Dame’s Opponents: Six still hold conference title hopes
— Notre Dame among the dozen looking at the Playoff, though it is still October
— Notre Dame at No. 3 in initial CFP poll
— Notre Dame’s best-case and worst-case CFP scenarios
— Notre Dame lands speedy CA receiver’s commitment
— And In That Corner … The Wake Forest Demon Deacons and a very familiar defense
— Things To Learn: Wake Forest offers a look into Notre Dame’s defensive future
— Quick Notre Dame Notebook: Injury updates, cornerback swap & ‘developmental’ players
— Friday at 4: A statistical look at how Notre Dame routed two top-15 teams in consecutive weeks
INSIDE THE IRISH COVERAGE FROM THE NORTH CAROLINA STATE GAME:
— Notre Dame ‘dominates’ Wolfpack 35-14
— Things We Learned: Notre Dame’s in-season improvements make the previously-maybe become increasingly possible
— Notre Dame Sunday Notebook: Injury update and punt block blocks
THIS WEEK’S OUTSIDE READING:
— Long drives, reliably delivered
— ’33 Trucking’ hats available with all proceeds going back to Irish student-athletes
— Meet the replacements: Deacons line up with depth in light of injuries
— New 538.com projections factor in first CFP poll
— North Carolina State QB and head coach explain pick-six misunderstanding