NCAA FB

Sat, Nov 5, 2011 - 8:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Notre Dame 24, Wake Forest 17

Share This Story

   
 

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP)

With the game on the line, Notre Dame gave up plenty of yardage to Wake Forest. What the Fighting Irish refused to surrender was the lead.

Tommy Rees threw two touchdown passes and Notre Dame shut out the Demon Deacons in the second half of a 24-17 victory on Saturday night.

''The words I would use? Gritty. Tough,'' Irish coach Brian Kelly said. ''You've got to win games like this where it's just a gritty, tough performance.''

Rees finished 14 of 23 for 166 yards with scoring passes of 38 yards to Tyler Eifert and 16 yards to Michael Floyd. Jonas Gray added a 1-yard touchdown run for the Irish (6-3), who outgained the Demon Deacons 341-297. Notre Dame scored on its first two possessions of the second half and held on to win its second straight.

Twice in the second half, Wake Forest had the ball at or inside the Notre Dame 10 while down by a touchdown - and came away with no points.

''That really killed us,'' Wake Forest receiver Chris Givens said. ''It was devastating for our offense.''

Tanner Price was 17 of 24 for 187 yards with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Pendergrass. Josh Harris added a 2-yard touchdown run for Wake Forest (5-4), which led 17-10 at halftime but has lost three of four.

The Demon Deacons squandered Josh Bush's long interception return midway through the third quarter when Pendergrass fumbled at the Irish 9. Wake Forest then had a first-and-goal from the 10 midway through the fourth, but lost 15 yards on its next three plays and David Newman's 42-yard field goal sailed wide right with 5:24 left.

Gray and Cierre Wood then took over on the ground for the Irish, who ran out the clock.

''We have a whole philosophy of, `Count on me,''' Rees said. ''The defense did their part, and then it was their turn to look at (the offense), and for us to go out there and make some plays and do our part of the deal. I couldn't be more proud of our guys.''

Gray finished with 92 yards for the Irish.

''Obviously, the third quarter was the deciding part of this game in terms of our ability to put points on the board,'' Kelly said. ''We did a great job in the second half ... closing out the game running the football.''

Gray tied it at 17 when he took a pitch untouched around left end for his ninth touchdown of the season. That came two plays after Gray appeared to score from 26 yards out, but an official review determined his elbow touched the turf inside the 1-yard line.

Notre Dame went back to work 1 1/2 minutes later, with Wood's 27-yard run up the middle setting up Rees' go-ahead touchdown pass. Floyd slipped behind a pair of Wake Forest defenders and pulled down a perfectly thrown ball in the right corner of the end zone before 6 minutes had elapsed in the half.

Ball security has been a problem all year for the Irish, who entered ranked 118th nationally in turnover margin, and it looked like the Demon Deacons were going to make them pay for Rees' second interception to Bush before Pendergrass' costly fumble swung momentum back to the Irish.

''I didn't think we were very sharp for two series to start the second half, on either side of the ball,'' Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said. ''And then we kind of got going pretty good again, and the offense moved the ball pretty good at times, but we didn't get anything out of it.''

Harris put Wake Forest up 17-10 when he powered in with 28 seconds left before halftime. That capped an 11-play, 81-yard march that chewed up nearly five minutes and ended with just the fifth rushing touchdown allowed all year by the Irish.

The first meeting between the schools - and the only one scheduled in Winston-Salem - was billed as one of the biggest in Wake Forest history with an announced crowd of 36,307 at the 31,500-seat BB&T Field, the smallest venue to host Notre Dame since 1945.

The teams combined to provide plenty of early fireworks, with both scoring on their first two possessions before the defenses finally settled down.

Price capped the Demon Deacons' opening drive with his scoring pass to Pendergrass down the right sideline just over four minutes in. They traded field goals - Notre Dame's David Ruffer kicking one from 44 yards out, and Newman following with a 46-yarder - before Eifert slipped through a seam in the defense and Rees found him for a long score that tied it at 10-10 with 3:38 left in the quarter.

Tagged: Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Jonas Gray, Josh Harris, Josh Bush, Brandon Pendergrass, Tommy Rees

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash