Wake Forest @ #4 Notre Dame ’15: Key Matchups

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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.

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6 Comments

  1. david
    September 19, 2015 at 4:41 am

    Georgia Tech is simply a better football team than ND is.

    Paul Johnson has been infinitely better at installing his triple option philosophy at GT than Brian Kelly has been with his “hurry-up, no huddle” strategy at ND. (Yeah…remember that?!).

  2. Hit hard, hit fast, score a lot of points for style to work on maintaining your playoff ranking, and don’t allow any “Georgia Tech” syndrome to rear its ugly head with this opponent.

    Pound away Irish

  3. Pierce

    Noted you put Cole Luke and not K. Russell as the key CB matchup vs. Wake’s best WR Cortez Lewis.
    Is that because of where Lewis lines up, or do you believe Luke is NDs best CB?
    I couldn’t really say who I’d choose as NDs best CB, although K. Russell has seemed to make more big plays, but has given more up as well. I don’t know if KR has because he covers the other team’s best WR each game. I read in an earlier post that ND doesn’t switch CBs, with KR covering the wide field regardless who lines up there.

  4. I’m with you Jeff. This should be a cake walk but… BTW I wouldn’t give the backups any reps until the first team boys earn it. Focus, focus, focus on execution!! Last week in Pitt should have been a rout as well but there were a few minutes where the defence was asleep at the switch. Can’t allow that against good teams. Let’s use the lesser teams as a means of improvement.

    Go Irish

  5. More like KEY MISMATCHES. Notre Dame SHOULD have an easy time with WF. Its one of those mismatches where the backups get some quality reps towards the end of the 3rd qtr and the starters get a much needed breather. If ND is as advertised and I believe they are then this should be a rout. Of course it never seems to pan out that way with Notre Dame.

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