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#3 Irish Prevail In 48-37 Victory Over Wake Forest

Nov. 4, 2017

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INSTANT REACTION: Claypool | INTERVIEWS: Coach Kelly | Wimbush | Tranquill | Weishar | Love | Claypool

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — On a cold and rainy day at Notre Dame Stadium, the third-ranked Fighting Irish football team put on a scorching offensive performance in a 48-37 victory over Wake Forest.

The Irish (8-1) racked up 710 total yards, coming within 10 yards of the previous school single-game record of 720 set against Navy on Nov. 1, 1969. It was a balanced attack, with 380 rushing yards to go with 330 yards through the air.

Quarterback Brandon Wimbush was responsible for 390 total yards, leading Irish rushers with 110 yards (two touchdowns) and passing for another 280 (one touchdown). Wimbush’s two rushing touchdowns brought his season total to 13 — extending his school record — and his career total to 14 — tying for seventh all-time with Joe Montana and Everett Golson.

Wide receiver Chase Claypool hauled in a career-high 180 yards with one touchdown to lead all receivers.

Cornerback Julian Love recorded three pass break-ups in the first half — including his third interception of the season — to bring his season total to 14, surpassing Clarence Ellis (13, 1969) for the most by a Notre Dame player in a single season.

After Wake Forest scored on its opening drive, Notre Dame answered after C.J. Sanders returned the ensuing kickoff 52 yards to the Wake 48-yard-line and Wimbush scampered into the end zone from six yards to put the Irish up 7-3.

The Irish extended their lead when Justin Yoon connected on a 34-yard field goal to open the second quarter. On Wake Forest’s next offensive play, cornerback Julian Love snagged his third interception of the season, returning 25 yards and setting up a five-yard touchdown run by Tony Jones Jr.

The Demon Deacons came within 17-10 with 10:13 left in the second quarter when quarterback John Wolford ran for a 20-yard touchdown, but the Irish tacked on two more scores before halftime to lead 31-10 at intermission. On the next drive, Wimbush ran for a 50-yard rushing touchdown, and the Irish capped the half with a 99-yard, nine-play scoring drive when Ian Book hooked up with Nick Weishar for a one-yard touchdown reception with 22 seconds left in the quarter.

It was a shootout in the second half as Wake Forest outscored the Irish 27-18 over the final two quarters, rushing for two touchdowns and passing for two more. Notre Dame opened the scoring with a Yoon field goal nearly six minutes into the third quarter, and the Demon Deacons answered three series later on a 30-yard Wolford pass to Alex Bachman, though missed the two-point conversion attempt.

Notre Dame took a 42-16 lead 50 seconds later when Claypool broke the plane on a 34-yard reception from Wimbush. Wake Forest responded before the quarter ended, though, when Matt Colburn rushed in from 24 yards to narrow the gap at 42-23.

The Irish opened the fourth quarter on an 85-yard scoring drive, capped by a two-yard rush from Deon McIntosh, who finished with 63 yards on nine carries.

Wake Forest closed the game with two more touchdown drives of 70 and 90 yards, respectively, but it wasn’t enough to close the Irish advantage.