The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-3) became bowl-eligible with their hard-fought 24-17 win over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-4). The Irish, who went into the half down by 7, dominated defensively during the second half, shutting out the Wake Forest offense.
The first quarter started fast with each team putting up ten points quickly, but only the Demon Deacons seemed ready for the two-minute drill, driving late in the second quarter for a touchdown. In his own attempt at a late scoring drive, the Fighting Irish quarterback Tommy Rees connected with Wake Forest defender Josh Bush for a half-ending interception.
However, in their first two drives of the second half, the Fighting Irish quickly captured their first lead of the game. On their first drive of the second half, the Irish poured down the field on the shifty shoulders of RB Jonas Gray, who made two big runs and then zipped in for a touchdown with less than a yard to go.
On their second touchdown drive, RB Cierre Wood broke a 27 yard run to set up an impressive 16 yard touchdown pass to Michael Floyd along the right corner of the endzone for a 24-17 lead.
From there out, the story was all about missed opportunities for the Demon Deacons and clutch plays from the Irish defense. After Notre Dame took the lead, Rees threw yet another interception to Josh Bush, but a key redzone fumble from Wake Forest RB Brandon Pendergrass gave the Irish the ball back.
Then, late in the fourth quarter, the Demon Deacons were able to drive deep into the Fighting Irish territory, but Jimmy Newman missed his 42 yard field goal attempt, giving Notre Dame the ball back and sealing the win as the offense drained the remainder of the clock on a 10 play, 5:24 drive.