Notre Dame will face Wake Forest on senior day, which means Saturday will be the last time many great Irish players play at Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish are four touchdown favorites over the Demon Deacons and should put on a show for the crowd in South Bend. Wake Forest is 3-6 on the season and has a lot of trouble scoring points, with their season high versus and FBS opponent being 24. The following are the matchups the Irish need to dictate to keep their playoff hopes alive with an impressive victory:
Josh Adams & Dexter Williams versus Brandon Chubb
With C.J. Prosise’s availability somewhat uncertain the load will likely be shared in the Irish backfield versus Brandon Chubb and Wake Forest. The Wake Forest linebacker is the cousin of Georgia star Nick Chubb and leads the Demon Deacons in tackles with 78 and quarterback hurries with five. The Irish should be able to run the ball well and if they can open up a big lead they can rest Prosise in the second half.
Will Fuller versus Brad Watson
Irish receiver Will Fuller will be looking to have another big game versus corner Brad Watson. Fuller had three touchdowns last week versus Pitt and could repeat that if Watson doesn’t receive help in the form of double-teams on the Irish junior standout. Watson is second on the Demon Deacons with 51 tackles and has an impressive team-high 10 pass breakups.
Jaylon Smith versus Kendall Hinton and John Wolford
As mentioned the Wake Forest offense has trouble moving the ball and that starts with their quarterback tandem of Hinton and Wolford. The notion that if you have two quarterbacks you don’t have one applies here as both Hinton and Wolford have more interceptions than touchdowns. Both quarterbacks will play and Smith will need to be aware who is running the offense for the Deacons as Wolford is the more established pocket passers while Hinton leads the team in rushing.
Cole Luke versus Cortez Lewis
Wake Forest doesn’t have many playmakers but Cortez Lewis is a dangerous player. Although the Demon Deacons quarterbacks struggle Lewis has contributed with 36 receptions for a team-high 468 yards to go along with two scores. Lewis is the Demon Deacons best deep-threat so if Luke can eliminate the big play that should be enough as Wake struggles to put drives together consistently.