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Wake Forest Falls On Road To Notre Dame, 45-7

By: Will Pantages

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Wake Forest football dropped a road contest at No. 19 Notre Dame, 45-7, on Saturday afternoon inside Notre Dame Stadium. 

The Demon Deacons were knotted with the Fighting Irish in the middle of the second quarter at seven apiece following a nine-yard touchdown run off the left end by redshirt freshman Tate Carney. The score was the fourth of his career and third in the last four weeks. On the scoring drive, junior Jahmal Banks completed a 17-yard pass to his classmate Ke’Shawn Williams on a reverse pass. Additionally, Williams had a 20-yard rush to set the Deacs up in the redzone. 

Notre Dame grabbed the lead, and extended it, later in the second quarter with a pair of scoring drives and the Fighting Irish opened the third quarter with another touchdown to secure a deficit that was too large for Wake Forest to overcome. 

Individually, redshirt junior Michael Kern was under-center for the Demon Deacons in his first-career start and he went 11-of-20 for 81 yards. His top target inside Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday was Banks as he tallied five receptions for 35 yards.

Kern became the seventh quarterback to start a game in the Dave Clawson era. 

In the second half, freshman defensive back Rushaun Tongue became the 12th Demon Deacon this season to force a turnover, forcing a fumble that was recovered by junior defensive back Evan Slocum.

Defensively, the Deacs were led by redshirt sophomore linebacker Dylan Hazen who totaled 11 tackles while also having a tackle for loss and quarterback hurry. This is the second consecutive game with double-digit tackles, recording 25 total over the last two weeks. As a team, five players finished with five or more tackles in the game.

Wake Forest will look to rebound next week as it remains on the road in the Deacs’ regular season finale at Syracuse. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast on The CW. 


  • Wake Forest won the toss and deferred its option to the second half.
  • The Wake Forest defense forced Notre Dame into a three-and-out on its opening drive before a 27-yard punt by the Irish set the Deacs up at their own 45-yard line.
  • After an Ivan Mora punt, the defense held strong and forced the Irish to attempt a 47-yard field goal, which hooked wide right as Wake Forest took over at its 29-yard line.
  • Mora flipped the field with a 51-yard punt before Notre Dame opened the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown pass with 54 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
  • The Irish held a 7-0 advantage after the first 15 minutes of play.
    • Defensively, Jacob Roberts led the way for the Deacs in the first quarter with a game-high five tackles.
  • Wake Forest tied the game at 7-7 courtesy of a nine-yard touchdown run by Carney at the 11:41 mark in the second quarter.
    • The seven-play, 72-yard touchdown drive was highlighted by a 17-yard trick-play pass from Banks to Williams and a 20-yard gain from the latter on a screen pass three plays later.
    • Banks recorded three receptions for 16 yards on the drive in addition to the pass.
    • For Carney, the rushing touchdown marked the fourth of his career and third in the last four weeks for the Demon Deacons.
  • The Irish retook the lead with a 35-yard touchdown pass with just over seven minutes to go in the first half.
  • The Demon Deacons marched down the field with big plays from Fields and Ellison, but Dennis’ 30-yard field goal attempt was blocked by the Irish.
  • Notre Dame extended its lead with a 37-yard field goal with five seconds remaining in the second quarter.
  • The Irish led, 17-7, as the teams headed into the locker rooms.
    • Roberts and Hazen were tied for the team-high in tackles in the first half with six apiece.
  • Wake Forest opened the second half at the 25-yard line following a touchback.
  • Notre Dame went up 24-7 after a Wake Forest fumble followed by a 19-yard touchdown pass 51 seconds into the third quarter.
  • After the touchdown, Notre Dame recovered an on-side kick and took over at its 47-yard line, but the Wake Forest defense forced a quick three-and-out.
  • On the following drive, the offense entered Notre Dame territory, but was stopped on fourth-and-inches as the Irish took over near midfield with 7:29 to go in the third quarter.
  • A two-yard touchdown rush  at the 5:22 mark in the third sent the Irish into the fourth quarter with a 31-7 lead.
  • The Irish added another touchdown on a 48-yard pass at the 13:24 mark in the fourth.
  • After a 55-yard punt from Mora, Rushaun Tongue got the ball back for Wake Forest with a forced fumble recovered by Evan Slocum at the Notre Dame 31-yard line.
  • A turnover on downs for the Demon Deacons led to a 17-yard touchdown pass for the Irish as they extended the lead to 38 with 3:56 remaining.
  • Wake Forest fell to Notre Dame, 45-7.


  • With redshirt junior Michael Kern recording his first-career start at quarterback on Saturday for the Demon Deacons, he became the seventh starting QB in the Dave Clawson era. The Orlando, Fla. native threw for 81 yards as he went 11-of-20 against the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium.
  • Santino Marucci – Oct. 21, 2023 vs. Pitt:
    • Marucci threw for 151 yards as he went 12-of-21 with one touchdown pass against Pitt inside Allegacy Stadium hitting redshirt junior Cameron Hite with just seven seconds remaining to earn a comeback 21-17 victory over Pitt to garner its first ACC win of the season on Homecoming Weekend.
  • Mitch Griffis – Sept. 1, 2022 vs. VMI:
    • In Week 1 of the 2022 season, Griffis went 21-of-29 for 288 yards and three touchdowns against VMI. His 72.4 percent in a first career start is the second-best in school history and the best mark since 2006. Also, Griffis’ three touchdown passes against VMI were the second most by a Wake Forest quarterback in his first career start.
  • Jamie Newman – Nov. 8, 2018 at No. 14 NC State:
    • Newman led the Deacons to come-from-behind 27-23 win with game-winning 2-minute drill at No. 14 NC State. He hit TE Jack Freudenthal with a 32-yard pass with 30 seconds left to secure the win for Wake Forest. Overall, Newman completed 22-of-33 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns and became third QB in school history to throw three TD passes in first career start, joining Keith West vs Vanderbilt (1990) and Norm Snead vs. Maryland (1958).
  • Sam Hartman – Aug. 30, 2018 at Tulane:
    • Hartman had the best statistical debut in school history when he completed 31-of-51 passes for 378 yards (.608 completion percentage) and two touchdowns in an overtime win at Tulane in 2018 the season-opener. Hartman became the first Wake true freshman QB to win a season-opener. All his passing marks were school-bests for a true freshman in their first career start.
  • Kendall Hinton – Sept. 26, 2015 at Indiana:
    • As a freshman, Hinton made his first career start vs. Indiana and had 245 passing yards and completed 19 passes with one touchdown. Hinton also rushed 22 times for 57 yards with two touchdowns.
  • John Wolford – Aug. 28, 2014 at ULM:
    • Wolford became the first true freshman quarterback to start a season-opener in program history and he finished with 97 passing yards, five away from Solomon Everett’s 1974 record of 102 for a true freshman in a debut. Wolford also became the first true freshman to complete better than 50 percent of his passes (12-of-22) in his first start.


  • The Wake Forest defense has made a staple of getting off the field early in drives with 41 3-and-outs through 11 games this season. Overall for the season, Wake Forest has forced its opponents into three-and-outs on 29 percent of opponents drives (41-of-142). The Deacs have started the opening drive on defense with a 3-and-out in seven of 11 games so far this season.
    • 3-And-Out Tracking Chart:
      • No.       Against             Drive                Yds.     
      • 1          Elon                 1st Drive           1 yard
      • 2          Elon                 2nd Drive         -7 yards
      • 3          Elon                 3rd Drive          -5 yards
      • 4          Elon                 4th Drive          -8 yards
      • 5          Elon                 5th Drive          -6 yards
      • 6          Elon                 7th Drive          7 yards
      • 7          Elon                 9th Drive          7 yards
      • 8          Elon                 11th Drive        4 yards
      • 9          Vanderbilt        1st Drive          6 yards
      • 10        ODU                2nd Drive         -4 yards
      • 11        ODU                4th Drive          2 yards
      • 12        ODU                9th Drive          -4 yards
      • 13        ODU                10th Drive        -11 yards
      • 14        ODU                13th Drive        -1 yard
      • 15        GT                   1st Drive          9 yards
      • 16        GT                   5th Drive          5 yards
      • 17        GT                   11th Drive        7 yards
      • 18        Clemson           1st Drive          9 yards
      • 19        Clemson           3rd Drive          3 yards
      • 20        Clemson           5th Drive          6 yards
      • 21        Clemson           9th Drive          9 yards
      • 22        VT                   1st Drive          4 yards
      • 23        VT                   2nd Drive         4 yards
      • 24        VT                   9th Drive          44 yards
      • 25        VT                   10th Drive        6 yards
      • 26        Pitt                   2nd Drive         -6 yards
      • 27        Pitt                   9th Drive          4 yards
      • 28        Pitt                   13th Drive        -12 yards
      • 29        FSU                 3rd Drive          8 yards
      • 30        FSU                 6th Drive          -10 Yards
      • 31        FSU                 10th Drive        -2 Yards
      • 32        Duke                1st Drive          2 yards
      • 33        Duke                2nd Drive         -10 yards
      • 34        Duke                7th Drive          2 yards
      • 35        Duke                8th drive           8 yards
      • 36        Duke                10th drive         7 yards
      • 37        NC State           5th drive           8 yards
      • 38        NC State           10th drive         5 yards
      • 39        Notre Dame      1st drive           3 yards
      • 40        Notre Dame      7th drive           -4 yards
      • 41        Notre Dame      10th drive         11 yards

“First off credit to Notre Dame. Our guys played really hard. We gave ourselves a shot in the first half. Obviously, the opening turnover in the first half and their quick score changed the whole dynamic of the game. Notre Dame is a really talented and physical football team. Sometimes you have those games where if you did A, B and C maybe you find a way to win it. But right now they’re a much better football team than we are. Again, I think our guys played hard and I can’t fault their effort. We have one more week to play as a team. I’m really impressed with the way these guys have stuck together and they continue to practice hard and give effort. Today, we just got beat by a much better football team.”- Coach Dave Clawson

Wake Forest remains on the road at Syracuse next week in its regular season finale. The contest is on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on The CW.






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