Wake Forest visits No. 5 ND, ex-defensive coordinator Elko
Wake Forest (5-3) at No. 5 Notre Dame (7-1, CFP No. 3), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
Line: Notre Dame by 14
Series record: Notre Dame leads, 3-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Notre Dame has steamrolled its last six opponents by a 27.2 scoring margin and will try to avoid an upset at the hands of the Demon Deacons, who are fresh off a 42-32 over Louisville. Wake Forest is trying to become bowl eligible for a second straight season.
Wake Forest’s offense ran over Louisville with 625 yards, seven shy of the school mark, and is averaging 427.3 yards per game (48th nationally). It now goes up against an Irish defense coordinated by Mike Elko, who was defensive coordinator for head coach Dave Clawson at Wake Forest and Bowling Green. Under Elko, Notre Dame has forced 18 turnovers (11th) and is allowing just 116.6 rushing yards (16th) and 349.1 total yards (49th) a game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Wake Forest: QB John Wolford. The senior has started 40 games in four years and had career highs of five touchdowns and 461 yards (on 28-of-34 passing) in last Saturday’s victory over Louisville. He has thrown for 1,660 yards and 15 touchdowns with two interceptions this season.
Notre Dame: Julian Love. The 5-foot-11, 193-pound cornerback has two interceptions for touchdowns - a 59-yarder in a 38-18 victory at Michigan State Sept. 23 and last week’s 69-yard return that ended North Carolina State QB Ryan Finley’s streak of passes without an interception at 339. Love also had three passes broken up against Wolfpack and has 11 this season.
FACTS & FIGURES
Notre Dame remains sixth nationally in rushing offense at 317.9 yards per game thanks in part to the efforts of preseason All-America linemen Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson. . RB Josh Adams, who had 202 yards and a 77-yard TD against N.C. State, saw his average carry dip - from 9.21 yards per carry to 8.86 - but he is fifth nationally with his 1,169 yards and sixth in rushing yards per game at 146.1. . Wake Forest will play without WR Greg Dortch, who had four TD receptions last week but suffered a season-ending abdominal injury that required surgery. . Against top-five teams, Wake Forest is 1-37 all time.
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