NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Wake Forest closed out its non-conference schedule by dropping a 48-37 contest to No. 3 Notre Dame Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. The teams combined for 85 points and over 1,300 yards of total offense as the Fighting Irish improved to 8-1 and the Demon Deacons fall to 5-4.
Wake Forest’s 587 yards of total offense tied the most in program history against a ranked opponent, matching the output against No. 13 Auburn in 1979. It is tied for the seventh-most total offense in school history as three of the top 10 offensive outputs have come this season (625 vs. Louisville, 588 vs. Utah State). The 37 points were the most for the Demon Deacons against a ranked opponent since 38-24 win over No. 11 NC State in 2003. The 37 points were also the most allowed by Notre Dame this season, who entered the game as the only team in the nation to not allow over 20 points in a hame
On the other side, the Fighting Irish amassed 710 yards of total offense, the third most allowed in Wake Forest history.
John Wolford led the Demon Deacon offense with 331 yards passing, completing 28-of-45 attempts. Matt Colburn had 120 yards on the ground for his second consecutive 100-yard game. Alex Bachman led the receiving corps, setting career highs with eight catches and 116 yards.
After the Demon Deacons stopped the Irish on the opening possession of the game, they took over at their own 2-yard line. A 14-play, 82-yard drive produced a 34-yard field goal from Mike Weaver to give Wake Forest an early 3-0 lead. Notre Dame answered with a 6-yard touchdown run from Brandon Wimbush on the ensuing drive to take a 7-3 lead. The Irish held that advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Notre Dame extended the lead to 10-3 with a field goal in the opening minute of the second quarter. Julian Love intercepted a Wolford pass of the next possession and Tony Jones converted with a 5-yard touchdown run on the next play for a 17-3 Irish lead.
After the Wake Forest defense made a fourth-down stop to get the ball back, the offense put together a three-play, 69-yard drive with Wolford connecting with Alex Bachman for 38 yards before scoring on a 20-yard run to make the score 17-10. Wimbush’s second touchdown run of the game, this one from 50 yards, pushed the Notre Dame lead back to two scores at 24-10. Just before halftime, Notre Dame engineered a 99-yard touchdown drive to make the halftime advantage 31-10.
After Notre Dame opened the second-half scoring with a field goal, the Deacs cut the lead to 34-16 as Wolford threw a 30-yard touchdown to Bachman. The ensuing two-point conversion attempt failed. The Fighting Irish posted another touchdown drive before the Demon Deacons ended the quarter with a 24-yard touchdown run from Matt Colburn to make the score 41-23 after 45 minutes.
The fourth quarter began with the teams trading touchdowns, as the Deacs answered Notre Dame’s score with a 11-yard pass from Wolford to Jack Freudenthal for the tight end’s first career score. The game’s final score, in the final minute, was a 2-yard touchdown run by Isaiah Robinson, his first touchdown since his freshman season in 2014.
Cameron Glenn and Grant Dawson led the Wake Forest defense with 13 and 10 stops, respectively.
Wake Forest closes out its road schedule next week with a visit to Syracuse before ending the season with home games against NC State and Duke.