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Previewing the Notre Dame Offense

Wake faces by far its toughest test yet this week

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest faces its toughest test of the season on Saturday when it hosts undefeated Notre Dame at noon at BB&T Field. The Fighting Irish are ranked 8th, and the Deacs have not beat a top 10 team since 1946.

The offense is led by senior quarterback Brandon Wimbush. He is 42-76 for 589 yards on the season. Wimbush has thrown one touchdown pass and four interceptions on the year, and averages 7.75 yards per attempt.

The rushing attack is led by junior Tony Jones Jr. and sophomore Jafar Armstrong. Jones has 39 carries for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. Armstrong has 39 carries for 147 yards and 3 touchdowns. Wimbush has 49 carries for 136 yards and a touchdown.

The wide receivers are led by seniors Miles Boykin and Chris Finke, and junior Chase Claypool. Tight end Alize Mack and running backs Armstrong and Jones also play a role in the passing game. Boykin has 8 catches for 161 yards, Finke has 10 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown, Claypool has 7 catches for 100 yards, Mack has 6 catches for 74 yards, Armstrong has 5 catches for 72 yards, and Jones has 2 catches for 56 yards.

Senior kicker Justin Yoon is 7-7 on extra points and 5-7 on field goals. His career long is from 52 yards, and his season long is from 48 yards. He was named to the preseason Lou Groza Award Watch List.

Notre Dame’s three wins have been a 24-17 win over #14 Michigan, a 24-16 win over Ball State, and 22-17 win over Vanderbilt. Needless to say the Irish don't have a high-scoring offense. Against Michigan they had 170 yards passing and 132 yards rushing. Against Ball State the Irish had 297 yards passing and 117 yards rushing. Against Vanderbilt Notre Dame had 135 yards passing and 245 yards rushing.

If Wake can score early and often, and if the defense can figure out how to get pressure on Wimbush and keep the receivers from being wide open they should have a good shot at a win.

UPDATE: Ian Book has been named the starter for the Irish after the early season struggles by Wimbush. Book guided the Irish to a victory in the bowl game last year.