Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fighting Irish Must Not Let Distractions Shift Their Focus From Wake Forest

It seems that the more Notre Dame wins, the more distractions come. The BCS and National Title talk only escalates after every Irish win. Now with them being one of only three major unbeatens (Kansas State and Oregon are the other two), the distractions are at an all time high for this group of Notre Dame players.

This week they have to compound that with the seniors running through the tunnel for the final time, and the thought of their annual showdown with arch rival USC just a week away.Did I forget we have a Heisman candidate in Manti Te'o? On top of all that, they need to be prepared to play a football game against Wake Forest. This is untraveled territory for Notre Dame.

While Wake Forest is just 5-5, Notre Dame knows all too well what can happen if they  are not focused on the task at hand (aka. Pittsburgh and BYU). This is also a team that The Fighting Irish beat by just seven points last year. Of course, many of the players are the same. Therefore, Notre Dame should expect to be in  a battle.

Te'o and company will have yet another veteran quarterback to deal with in Junior Tanner Price who has thrown for 1852 yards with 12 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions. His favorite target is red shirt junior wide receiver Michael Campanaro who has caught 65 passes for 618 yards and 7 touchdowns. Campanaro will be a tough chore for either Bennett Jackson or KeVare Russell.

The Demon Deacons have struggled with the running game all year as their leading runner is Junior Josh Harris who has just 607 yards with 5 touchdowns. He is only averaging 60.7 yards a game and has only one 100 yard game and it was against Army. The next highest runner is Deandre Martin with 330 yards. Compare that to the Irish who have Theo Riddick with 714 yards and Cierre Wood with 570. Everett Golson and George Atkinson have also contributed to the running game with 258 and 312 yards respectively.

Defensively Wake Forest has been very inconsistent all year. They have given up as few as 10 points against Virginia and as many as 52 against Florida State. Therefore it is hard to know which defense will show up. The defense has given up at least 20 points to the teams they have played with winning records. They even gave up 37 to Army. They have only given up less than 20 points to losing teams and FCS teams.

If Golson and company are ready, they can potentially put up some really big numbers. Let's just hope their minds are on the game and not all the distractions that have become increasingly more difficult to deal with.

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