The game was never really in doubt, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish finished off the Wake Forest Demon Deacons by a final score of 48-37. The defense played to contain the Wake Forest offense in the second half. By taking their edge off, the defense allowed over 20 points for the first time this season. Still, a win is a win and the Irish are now 8-1. On to the key performances:
By far his best game throwing the ball in a Notre Dame uniform. Brandon Wimbush might not ever be a 70% passer but he has improved tremendously this season. He finished the game with 280 yards passing, a career high. He also gained another 119 yards on the ground. Wimbush has not turned the ball over in the last 5 games. He is progressing more and more every week in the passing game. He is still as dangerous as ever running the ball. Let’s hope he stays healthy going forward because he seems to be hitting his stride.
The athleticism is translating into results. Claypool has shown he is a dependable target. He is one of many players who looks to be more comfortable with each and every rep. Chase Claypool also had his best game of the season, finishing with 9 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown. The first few games of the season it was evident that an inexperienced Brandon Wimbush needed some guys around him to turn into playmakers. With the improvement of Claypool and emergence of Kevin Stepherson, the wide receiver group is now a strength of the team. Those two paired with Equinameous St. Brown are capable of being a dominant force.
I will admit I have always been higher on Love than the average person. He just made too many plays last year as a true freshman. I knew the play he could be. Julian Love is now proving it. He again flipped a game over with an interception. The game was 10-3 and he intercepted a Wake Forest pass, setting up Notre Dame to take a two touchdown lead. The thing I like most is that Julian Love is almost always in perfect position. Yes, his ball skills could improve. But it seems to me that biggest battle young corners face is getting into correct position. Julian Love is a smart football player and undoubtedly the best cornerback on the football team.
Nobody thought Notre Dame would be here at this point in the season. They are fighting for berth to the College Football Playoffs and headed to South Beach to take on the undefeated Miami Hurricanes. It will be a top 7 matchup next Saturday. It is exactly what college football is all about. Don’t take these games for granted. We’re in for a good one this weekend.