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Irish win in first-ever trip to Wake

Allan Joseph | Sunday, November 6, 2011

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — While BB&T Field was the smallest venue in which the Irish had played in decades, Saturday’s attendance was one of the biggest in Wake Forest history. The crowd of 36,307 was the fourth-largest crowd in the history of the field.

“They play with great atmosphere,” senior running back Jonas Gray said. “[Running backs coach Tim Hinton] talked throughout the week about how he coached at Cincinnati where it was 37,000 fans — it wasn’t a great atmosphere all the time but those were trap games, when you don’t come out and you come out flat.

“The good thing for us again was to come out in the second half, continue the momentum and we knew we’d come out with a victory.”

Rees passes Bertelli

With his two touchdown passes Saturday, sophomore quarterback Tommy Rees surpassed Angelo Bertelli for seventh all-time in Notre Dame history. Rees now has 29 touchdown passes in his career. Seventeen of those scores have come this season, good enough for the seventh-best single-season performance in school history.

Gray keeps scoring

After a one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, senior running back Jonas Gray has now scored at least one rushing touchdown in each of the last six games. The last Irish running back to accomplish that feat was Ryan Grant in 2002. Gray’s feat is all the more surprising considering his touchdown against Pittsburgh six weeks ago was the first score of his career.

“The guys did a great job blocking up front,” Gray said. “On that run, all I did was just beat the guys with speed that came through the outside, and the rest was pretty much — John Goodman made a great block — then I tried to get in the end zone.”