zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz— One Foot Down (@OneFootDown) November 14, 2015
Notre Dame won a classic Milton Berle "pull out just enough to win" game against Wake Forest today, 28-7. Vanilla play on both sides, but the Irish busted out enough big plays on defense to make the margin comfortable. Wake Forest outgained and outpossessed the Irish.
A few key statistics:
Wake Forest 0/3 on 4th down
This one is the obvious stat of the game. The Demon Deacons moved the ball pretty well, and to coach Dave Clawson's credit, he did not hesitate to go for it on 4th down early on, which was how 2 of Wake's first 3 possessions ended. The Deacons trailed 14-0 after a pick-six by Andrew Trumbetti and moved the ball down to the ND 1 by completing a 13-yard pass on 3rd and goal. However, a poorly executed zone read, as well as Jaylon Smith's Jaylon Smith-ness, helped ND come up with a stop. ND stopped Wake on downs a third time late in the game to preserve the 28-7 lead.
Josh Adams: 98-yard TD (longest run in ND history)
Thanks in large part to the vanilla play and, let's be honest, kind of poor effort from the offensive line, this was about the only time we got to see Josh Adams be awesome today in relief of injured C.J. Prosise. But boy, was he awesome on this run. My favorite was the way he disposed of the final defender in his way with an almost dismissive stiff-arm. Also, this play came 2 plays after the Irish got the 4th-down stop at the 1, putting ND ahead 21-0 and allowing Irish fans to rest easy, if bored, the rest of the game. Adams would total 141 rushing yards.
And sorry, C.J. Your record long run against Georgia Tech lasted less than 2 months.
ND: 282 total offensive yards, 24:12 time of possession
It just wasn't a good day for the ND offense outside of Adams' run. Again, some of this is certainly due to Kelly not bothering to show much in a game he knew he wouldn't need to, but it was a bit frustrating to see the ND offensive line get shoved backwards so often.
DeShone Kizer appeared to be a little too focused on making deep throws rather than taking underneath routes - which led to a couple of unnecessary sacks. He didn't make any big mistakes, and showed off his impressive running ability a few times, most notably on a 3rd and 14 conversion. There was, on the whole, little to complain about. As Pete Sampson said on Twitter, his looking deep is probably a redshirt freshman thing, and really, if that's his main problem, that's fine.
This is not a stat, but a fond farewell to a nice group of seniors. They weren't the most star-studded group, but in Sheldon Day (who had an excellent game today), Elijah Shumate, Joe Schmidt, Prosise (who might be back next year or might not), KeiVarae Russell (same), Nick Martin, etc., this is a group that did a lot of good things at ND. Let's hope the best is yet to come. 2 games left, and - hopefully - 2 more after that.