Notre Dame vs Wake Forest Prediction & Pick: Back WF in Sam Hartman Bowl
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Sam Hartman.
Notre Dame vs Wake Forest Prediction & Pick
The Sam Hartman Bowl occurs Saturday afternoon when Wake Forest and Notre Dame square off in South Bend.
Hartman broke all kinds of passing records in Winston-Salem before transferring to Notre Dame for his final season of eligibility. On Saturday, he will take on his former team in a matchup that the Demon Deacons have had circled all year.
At 4-6, Wake Forest must win its final two games to become bowl eligible. ND sits at 7-3 with a trip to California on deck, as it'll battle Stanford in its final regular season game.
Let's discuss where the betting value lies in a game where ND currently sits as a 24.5-point favorite and a total right around 46.
Read on four our Notre Dame vs Wake Forest Prediction & Pick.
The post-Hartman era in Winston-Salem has not gotten off to an excellent start for Dave Clawson and Co.
The biggest reason for this has been the drop-off in offensive production.
To run Clawson's scheme effectively, you need a quarterback who can take care of the ball and stretch opposing defenses down the field.
Whether it be Michael Kern or Mitch Griffis, the Deacs have not gotten consistent quarterback play, holding the entire unit back.
Conversely, Wake has improved in some areas on the other side of the ball. The Demon Deacons are pretty solid up front, so the rush defense has been a plus.
The weakness lies in the secondary, where Wake ranks outside the top 100 nationally in Pass Success Rate allowed.
With Notre Dame possessing a rush-heavy offense, there is still hope for the WF defense to get some stops in this one.
Notre Dame does not have much to play for this November, and most of that stems from the Ohio State game the Irish let slip away in the final seconds.
That being said, a 10-win season is still within reach, and the Irish will want to send their seniors out with a victory in the final home game of the season.
One of the biggest storylines in this game will be whether or not the Notre Dame wide receiving core can step up against a vulnerable Wake secondary.
That position group has been underwhelming all season and has held back the Irish offense.
As noted above, first-year offensive coordinator Gerad Parker has leaned on Audric Estime for most of the season. I expect more of the same in the superstar running back's final game in South Bend.
Defensively, Notre Dame has been elite and holds significant advantages over Wake Forest.
Forcing turnovers and possibly even creating a defensive touchdown would be one way the Irish could bolster its chances of covering this 20+ point number.
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Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Wake Forest and Notre Dame match up statistically:
Wake Forest Offense vs. Notre Dame Defense
Notre Dame Offense vs. Wake Forest Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+||90||50|
|Seconds per Play||25.9 (45)||29.5 (113)|
|Rush Rate||59.4% (31)||53.9% (62)|
Wake Forest vs Notre Dame
Betting Pick & Prediction
Wake Forest doesn't have enough offensive firepower to pull off the outright upset in this game, but I think the Deacs can do enough to cover here.
The Notre Dame offense is methodical and lacks the playmakers on the perimeter to hit many explosives down the field.
Additionally, this will be a max-effort spot for Wake against its former signal-caller. The Deacons also need a win to stay alive for bowl eligibility.
The clock should move in this one, with both teams employing a rush-heavy attack, putting a premium on points.
It may not be pretty, but I'm backing the Demon Deacons to stay competitive and hang inside a massive number where they may only need a touchdown or two to cover.
Pick: Wake Forest +24.5
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