ND 31 Wake 13
Jeremy: Notre Dame
Not a whole lot to say about this one. It was heartening to see the Irish finally take care of business against the service academies this year. And I'd expect more of the same against the 3 ACC sisters of the poor up next on the Irish schedule. Wake does have that impressive win over FSU, which, in retrospect, looks a whole lot like our USF game from earlier this year. The Deacs are a little beat up in the backfield, and word is they may have to start a true freshman this week, but the Irish can expect Jim Grobe to have his squad ready, and The Dash will be hopping for the late start. But Wake doesn't have enough to keep up, and this ends up looking quite a bit like the Purdue beatdown.
ND 38 Wake 17
Sound the sousa maphones for the 1st ever play date between the Fighting Irish and Demon Deacons. First things first, can someone explain exactly what a Demon Deacon is? Is it literally an almost collared priest who’s possessed by a devilish spirit? If so, then Notre Dame du Lac’s trip to Winston-Salem is more than just a 60-minute scrimmage that counts. Why not exorcise the demons that plague the Dash and return Wake Forest to their original state of grace as the Deacons? Every punishing defensive stop should be echoed by “The power of Christ compels you!” Not sure how many Traveling Irish will invade BB&T Field, but this would be a great student chant next year. (Note to self: Write the Observer the week of November 17, 2012).
Demons and deacons talk aside, this ACC matchup offers a glimpse of what conference affiliation on the eastern seabord would feel like. As Matt can attest (after completing his MBA at Wake), football culture is an after thought in Winston-Salem. The 31,000+ “cathedral” formerly known as Groves Stadium reflects that. With b-ball season starting, Jim Grobe's team has lost the undivided attention of his fanbase (assuming he had it to begin with).
Now that the kumbaya come together moment of 2011 has pased, Brian Kelly can keep the accelerator on the floor and mop up this ACC tripleheader. (Is it brilliant scheduling or unfortunate luck that Wake, Maryland & BC are all underachieving. No complaints here as the team needs victories, and it beats scheduling the Western Michigans of the world). Fully confident the runaway dual locomotive attack of Wood and Gray keeps gaining steam. We've said it before, but it bears repeating, this offensive line is playing outstanding. This romp will be a nice commercial diversion from its prime-time TV counterpart. Go Irish!
ND 45 Wake 17
Mike: Notre Dame
Leave it to the Irish to play a complete, carefree game against an inferior opponent on basic cable, one week after laying an egg in primetime against a marquee team. So frustrating. What I know about Wake this year is that they beat an overrated FSU team. What I know about this game is that it will be watched secondary to Bama-LSU. I am hoping Rees, Floyd, Wood, and Gray can again TCB. They should be, as very few people will be watching. Bring on 2012!
Irish 38 Wake 21