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NOTRE DAME, Ind. (wakeforestsports.com) – No. 4 Notre Dame jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead en route to a 28-7 victory over Wake Forest at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Wake Forest (3-7) out-gained the Fighting Irish (9-1), 340-282, in total yards, but the Notre Dame defense forced a pick-six and three times caused Wake Forest to turn it over on downs.
Freshman running back Tyler Bell set career-highs with 23 carries and 90 yards rushing, most by a running back this season. KJ Brent led all receivers with five catches and 82 yards, including a career-long 52-yard grab.
The Demon Deacons went for it on 4th-and-8 from the ND 33-yard-line on their second drive, but after an incomplete pass, Notre Dame drove down the field and scored on a 12-yard run by DeShone Kizer.
On the ensuing drive, a John Wolford pass slipped out of his hands and was picked off by Andrew Trumbetti, who took it 28 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0.
Early in the second quarter, Wolford found Bell for a 13-yard pass down to the 1-yard-line on third down, but Bell was stopped on 4th-and-goal. A play later, Josh Adams broke a pair of tackles and scampered for a 98-yard touchdown, the longest in Notre Dame's history.
Wake Forest bounced back in the third quarter, with Wolford orchestrating an 11-play, 55-yard drive over 6:16, the second-longest drive in terms of time this season, capped off by a one-yard touchdown plunge by Wolford.
The Irish capped off the scoring in the fourth quarter, when Kizer ran for a 5-yard touchdown, his second of the game.
Defensively, Marquel Lee led the way with eight tackles, followed by Ryan Janvion and Brandon Chubb, with seven apiece.
• Alexander Kinal broke the NCAA record for punts in a career. He now has 323, surpassing the previous mark of 322 by Nick Harris of Cal (1997-2000).
• Kinal stands 136 yards from breaking the punting yardage record of 13,621, also held by Harris, with 13,486.
• He already holds the ACC records in each category.
FIRST SCORE AT ND
• John Wolford’s third-quarter rushing touchdown was Wake Forest’s first in Notre Dame Stadium.
• The Demon Deacons were shut out in the first visit to Notre Dame in 2012.
BELL GETTING BETTER
• Freshman running back Tyler Bell set career-highs in rushing attempts and rushing yards, with 23 carries for 90 yards.
• That total is also the most by a Wake Forest running back this season.
IN THE BACKFIELD
• Wake Forest’s 10 tackles for loss were the most in 2015, surpassing the previous mark of nine against Army West Point.
• Duke Ejiofor led the way with 2.5, followed by Marquel Lee with 1.5. Brandon Chubb, Dionte Austin, Hunter Williams, Tylor Harris, Zeek Rodney, Wendell Dunn, Josh Okonye and Chris Calhoun each had at least a half TFL.
DOOMED BY THE PICK SIX
• Notre Dame returned an interception for a touchdown in the first quarter en route to the victory.
• Wake Forest is now 0-4 this season, and 0-9 in the Dave Clawson era, when allowing a defensive or special teams touchdown.
• Wake Forest plays its second straight opponent ranked in the College Football Playoff top-four, traveling to Clemson on Saturday, Nov. 21, for a 3:30 p.m. game. It will air on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU.