Staff Predictions: Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest
| Thursday, November 15, 2012
Allan Joseph: Editor-in-Chief
Wake Forest isn’t nearly as good as it was last year, but this isn’t really about the Deacons. It’s about a special senior class, led by a special linebacker, playing for one last special moment inside Notre Dame Stadium. There is absolutely zero chance that Manti Te’o and company let this moment pass them by.
Remember that 35-0 win over Nevada to open 2009? Seniors will get to savor the feeling of a big victory once more, and it’ll bookend their Notre Dame Stadium memories.
This class started its career with a big win. It will end it that way, too. Students will join the team on the field in celebration of the best regular season since, yes, 1988. There will only be one thing left to do for these Irish – in the words of the cheers that will inevitably ring out Saturday: “beat SC.”
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 34, Wake Forest 10
Andrew Owens: Assistant Managing Editor
11-0. No one could have expected it, but that’s the lasting mark this senior class will give fans when it walks off the field and into the tunnel early Saturday evening. This group has already accomplished something incredibly special, but it will have the opportunity to do something extraordinarily and historically special in Los Angeles next week, and that’s the pursuit of a perfect regular season.
But, first, Wake Forest. Notre Dame has proved no opponent can be overlooked on its home turf, but I don’t see the Irish letting the Demon Deacons hang around this weekend. Not with so much on the line. Not in the final home contest of 2012.
Take a moment, especially you, seniors, to look around Saturday and soak in the moment and realize just how incredible this ride has been.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, Wake Forest 0
Chris Allen: Sports Editor
They came from all over the country, from New England to Hawaii. They united in South Bend. This season, they have led the resurgence of the Notre Dame program – and this weekend the seniors of the Class of 2013 take their curtain call.
Against a Wake Forest team that will struggle to match a charged Notre Dame roster, the seniors will display the skill that fans will miss next season. Manti Te’o will lead the defense and wreak havoc at linebacker one last time. Tyler Eifert will rise above the defensive secondary one last time. Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood will run with purpose one last time. The class that, decades from now, may be looked back upon as one that turned the fortunes of America’s most storied program will win once more and move to 11-0.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 33, Wake Forest 13
Andrew Gastelum: Associate Sports Editor
The Irish have been far from impressive at home. But while 10-0 looks awfully good to Brian Kelly and his players, 11-0 would look even better to a team that came into the year unranked with the toughest schedule in college football.
It’s Senior Day and expect these seniors to go out with a bang. That means Tyler Eifert, Theo Riddick, almost the entire offensive line and especially Manti Te’o. Notre Dame is too focused to let this one slip away or get even remotely close and the team knows it needs style points to have any hope of making a case for the BCS National Championship.
Without a doubt, it will be Notre Dame’s biggest home win this year and they will head to beautiful Los Angeles 11-0 with a chance to go undefeated. Who would’ve thunk it?
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 41, Wake Forest 6
Matthew DeFranks: Associate Sports Editor
It just would not be right if Manti Te’o, Kapron Lewis-Moore and Tyler Eifert lost in their final game at Notre Dame Stadium. Luckily for them, they welcome in a mediocre Wake Forest team, who clocks in at 5-5.
The Deacons are not terrible, but they’re not very good either. Their secondary can be tough but Everett Golson has grown in the past few weeks, providing both clutch heroics and steady leadership. He has developed his running game as well, which complements Cierre Wood, Theo Riddick and George Atkinson.
Maybe the Irish will give the fans another home heart attack. Maybe they will blow out Wake Forest. But one thing is for sure, there is no way Manti, Kapron and Tyler fall in their final farewell to the House that Knute Built.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 27, Wake Forest 10