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No. 8 Irish look to keep rolling when they visit Wake Forest

September 20, 2018

No. 8 Notre Dame (3-0) at Wake Forest (2-1), noon ET (ABC)

Line: Notre Dame by 7½

Series Record: Notre Dame leads 4-0

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Fighting Irish are looking for their first 4-0 start since 2015 and want to keep their momentum rolling entering next week’s top-10 matchup with No. 7 Stanford. The Demon Deacons — who have never beaten Notre Dame in four tries — want their first victory against a top-10 opponent since 1946.

KEY MATCHUP

Notre Dame passing offense vs. Wake Forest pass defense. The Demon Deacons have allowed eight touchdowns of 20 or more yards, including six of them in last week’s loss to Boston College. Notre Dame wants to produce big plays with its offense, and if Wake Forest doesn’t do a better job of limiting those explosive plays, it’ll have no chance to pull the upset.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Notre Dame: RB Tony Jones had his first 100-yard game in his first start last week against Vanderbilt, finishing with 118 yards rushing and added a team-best 56 yards receiving on two catches.

Wake Forest: QB-WR Kendall Hinton. The presumptive starting quarterback is back in the mix for the Demon Deacons after serving a three-game suspension for violating unspecified team rules. He lost his job to freshman Sam Hartman but played some receiver during preseason camp, and could be involved in a trick play or two.

FACTS AND FIGURES

This is the fourth straight time Notre Dame has been ranked in the top 10 for a meeting with Wake Forest. ... The last three meetings were decided by at least 10 points apiece. ... The Irish, who play five games each season against Atlantic Coast Conference schools, aren’t scheduled to visit Winston-Salem again until 2027, though they will meet in 2020 in Charlotte.

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