Notre Dame Football: Irish Handle Wake Forest, Remain Unbeaten on Senior Day

Mike MuratoreCorrespondent INovember 17, 2012

Nov. 17, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te'o (5) waves as he leaves the field in the fourth quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 38-0. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Well at least we know that Notre Dame can do it.

In five previous games this season at Notre Dame Stadium the Irish have underwhelmed.

Three points over Purdue, seven points over Michigan and Stanford, then three points over BYU and Pittsburgh.

The margin of victory has been slim, and more than anything else has held Notre Dame down in the human polls.

Finally today the Irish broke through on their home field, destroying 5-5 Wake Forest 38-0 on Senior Day at Notre Dame Stadium.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Everett Golson had his best day yet, hitting 20 of 30 throws for 346 yards, three touchdowns and one interceptions.

Cierre Wood contributed 150 yards and a score on 11 carries, and Tyler Eifert and T.J. Jones each pulled in six balls for almost 200 yards and two touchdowns between them.

Senior captains Manti Te'o and Kapron Lewis-Moore finished out in style, each in on many plays as the Irish defense completely stymied the Demon Deacon offense.

Truthfully, the game was not as close as the score would indicate.

The Irish rolled up 584 total yards to Wake's 209. Notre Dame out-rushed the Deacons 221 to 55. In the first half Notre Dame had touchdowns of 68, 50 and 34 yards. The Irish also threw an interception in the end zone before taking a 31-0 lead into the half.

The Irish missed a field goal coming out of the break, and soon called off the dogs by removing Everett Golson and the starting offense midway through the third quarter.

With the win Notre Dame completed a perfect home schedule for the first time since 1989. This also marks the first time that a Notre Dame team has won more than 10 games in a season since 1993.

In the big picture, beating Wake Forest was never going to give Notre Dame a clear path into the BCS championship game without help.

What it does accomplish is cement Notre Dame in the discussion.

USC managed to offer no help, falling to UCLA 38-28 at the Rose Bowl, surely falling from the rankings and no longer potentially a "quality win." 

Still, the Irish finally thumped an opponent and pitched a shutout against an automatic qualifier opponent on a weekend when the entire SEC played FCS competition.

Style points perceived by the poll voters coupled with the computer point differential between Notre Dame and the SEC teams essentially earning a zero should end the talk of a one-loss Alabama or Georgia jumping an undefeated Notre Dame team in the polls.

All trap games possibilities are behind the team now, as no matter the record a win over USC in Los Angeles would be the perfect icing on the cake that this season has become.