The third-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish will play to keep their BCS hopes alive, and avoid a debilitating loss on the eve of their annual clash with USC, when they face the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Saturday.
The Irish, 10-0 for the first time since 1993 after last week's methodical, 21-6 win over Boston College, are looking to go 11-0 for the first time since their 1988 National Championship season. Notre Dame now leads the nation in scoring defense, allowing a paltry 11.1 points per game. Quarterback Everett Golson, who established himself as the starter after beating Oklahoma, has thrown for more than 200 yards and completed two touchdowns in each of Notre Dame's last two games. While Heisman buzz around senior linebacker Manti Te'o may have quieted, he remains the team's leader in tackles (92) and interceptions (6).
Wake Forest comes into Saturday's game off a blowout 37-6 loss to North Carolina State last week. The defeat dropped the Demon Deacons to 5-5 on the season and 3-5 in the ACC, with a win over Notre Dame or Vanderbilt needed for them to become bowl eligible. Wake Forest's offense has struggled all season, ranking 114th in FBS football in rushing yards and 108th in points. The Demon Deacons have managed more than 16 points just once since September, a 28-14 win over Boston College on Nov. 3. However, receiver Michael Campanaro leads the ACC in receptions per game, having caught 65 passes for 618 yards and six scores this season.
Game time, TV channel: 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Point spread: Notre Dame is a 24-point favorite.
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