WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — In its first road test of the 2018 season, the eighth-ranked Notre Dame football team had its most productive offensive game of the season en route to a 56-27 win over Wake Forest (2-2) Saturday afternoon at BB&T Field.
Ian Book made his first start of the season and he led the Irish to 566 yards of total offense against the Demon Deacons. Book was 25-34 through the air for 325 yards and two TDs. The junior also recorded the first three rushing touchdowns of his career.
Notre Dame (4-0) was also efficient running the ball against the Demon Deacons. The Irish tallied 241 yards on 40 carries and had six rushing touchdowns. The 56 points for the Irish were a season-high and the most since scoring 62 against UMass in 2015.
How It Happened
Wake Forest struck first following a fumble recovery in Notre Dame territory. The Demon Deacons took over at the Notre Dame 14 yard line and it led to a 30-yard field goal for Sciba. The Irish trailed for the first time this season after recording the opening score in the team’s first three games.
The Irish did not trail for long as they marched right down the field on the ensuing drive. It took Notre Dame six plays to go 75 yards and take the lead. The drive was capped by a 30-yard touchdown run by Jafar Armstrong, his fourth rushing score of the season.
The Irish went right down the field again following a Wake field goal to score their second touchdown of the afternoon. Book led the Irish on a 10-play, 80-yard drive that led to a three-yard touchdown pass to Brock Wright on fourth down. It was Wright’s first career touchdown reception and gave the Irish a 14-6 lead with 11:25 left in the second quarter.
A Drue Tranquill sack on third down led to a three-and-out for the Demon Deacons. Chris Finke received the punt at the ND44 and followed a lead of blockers down to the WF4 for a 52-yard punt return. Two plays later, Tony Jones, Jr. punched it in from four yards out for the third consecutive touchdown for the Irish.
The Demon Deacons made it a one-score game following a 10-play, 75-yard drive led to a Colburn two-yard touchdown run.
Notre Dame once again answered quickly with its fourth-consecutive touchdown drive. Michael Young ripped off a career-long 66-yard reception on a bubble screen and got the Irish into the red zone. On the next play, Book tallied his first career rushing touchdown after rolling to his right and taking it two yards into the end zone.
In the second half, it was more of the same for the Notre Dame offense. Book led the Irish down the field on their first drive of the half for the team’s fifth touchdown of the afternoon. The nine-play, 75-yard drive was finished off by a seven-yard touchdown pass from Book to Chase Claypool and the Irish led 35-13.
After a Wake Forest punt, the Irish put together another scoring drive that was capped off with a rushing touchdown. Following a pass interference call on the first play, the next six plays were on the ground for 56 total yards and Armstrong tallied his second touchdown of the game on his one yard rush to finish the drive.
Notre Dame recorded its first turnover of the game late in the third quarter when Troy Pride, Jr. picked off Jamie Newman’s pass near midfield. Three plays later, Book rolled out once again and scored his second rushing touchdown of the game to increase the Irish lead to 49-13.
Book finished with his third rushing touchdown on his final drive of the afternoon. He scored from one yard out to cap off another 75-yard scoring drive.
The Irish return home to battle Stanford on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Notre Dame Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.