Early look at Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons were ticked off after they lost to Notre Dame because there were so many chances to alter the outcome.

"The errors and mistakes we made really caused us to hurt ourselves and that is unfortunate," quarterback Tanner Price said afterwards.

Price was 17 of 24 for 187 yards with a 20-yard touchdown pass, but it wasn't enough for Wake to steal the win.

The 24-17 loss means the Wake Forest has now dropped three of its past four games as it heads to an ACC Atlantic Division showdown at No. 9 Clemson.

But getting past the snags against Notre Dame will be a chore given the magnitude of the situation for one of the smallest Division I football-playing schools.

"It was a great atmosphere, but it would have been a lot better had we gotten the W," receiver Chris Givens said.

The Wake Forest defense might have made some strides after a disastrous performance a week earlier at North Carolina, but the hiccups on offense tend to be more prominent. Among the biggest problems have been some untimely three-and-outs that have put the defense back on the field on short order.

The Demon Deacons also squandered Josh Bush's long interception return midway through the third quarter when Pendergrass fumbled at the Irish 9. Wake Forest then had a first-and-goal from the 10 midway through the fourth, but lost 15 yards on its next three plays and David Newman's 42-yard field goal sailed wide right with 5:24 left.

Kickoff is set for 12:00 Saturday at Clemson's Death Valley. If the Tigers win, they'll clinch the ACC's Atlantic Division.

However if the Deacs win, they are once again in control of their own destiny to reach the ACC Championship Game for the second time in school history.

MONDAY NOTES: The fourth-largest crowd in stadium history turned out for Notre Dame's visit to Wake Forest on Saturday night. That announced total was 36,307. But next week at Clemson, Wake Forest is likely to be playing in front of more than twice as many spectators.

* In 11 seasons under coach Jim Grobe, Wake Forest played in only its 13th night home game against a non-conference opponent. After losing to Notre Dame, the Demon Deacons are 10-3 in those games. The other losses have been to Vanderbilt and Navy.

KEEP AN EYE ON: RB Orville Reynolds -- He played the first time this season in the ninth game as a true freshman. It's almost the unthinkable for the Demon Deacons, but they've become thin at running back and they unleashed Reynolds in the fourth quarter against Notre Dame. By playing Reynolds, this almost guarantees he'll be a key part of future game plans so they can get a decent amount of use from him during the one month he'll play during the regular season.

LOOKING GOOD: WR Michael Campanaro picked up some tough yards after several catches in the loss to Notre Dame. He finished as the game's top receiver with 74 receiving yards and started to show the form that made him a dynamic player at the start of the season.


Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe has never beaten the Tigers in Clemson. (Getty Images)
STILL NEEDS WORK: The two starting middle linebackers for the Demon Deacons combined for one assisted tackle in the Notre Dame game. LB Scott Betros and LB Riley Haynes have been anchors at times in the middle, but they've also been vulnerable at other times.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Usually we look at fumbles as if you're doing something bad, but I had it in there and it just managed to get away from me." -- RB Brandon Pendergrass, whose fumble inside the Notre Dame 10-yard line proved costly and was the Demon Deacons' only turnover of the game after the team's five giveaways a week earlier at North Carolina.

PLAYER NOTES: K Jimmy Newman added to his school-record streak of consecutive successful field goals by converting from a season-long 46 yards away. But he missed from 42 yards out in the fourth quarter against Notre Dame to end the streak.

* WR Lovell Jackson has been an adventure at times as a kick returner, but the Demon Deacons have stuck with him. That might have been worth it because he gave Wake Forest a boost with a couple of first-half returns, including one that went for 59 yards.

* S Josh Bush turned in the team's first multi-interception game of the season by swiping two passes against Notre Dame. With five interceptions this year, he has moved to second in the ACC in that category. The senior added a career-high eight tackles against Notre Dame.

ROSTER REPORT: RB Josh Harris had seven carries, scoring a touchdown on one of those, against Notre Dame. But his durability remains an issue and he doesn't seem capable of lasting for an entire game for what has been a lingering hamstring issue.

* TE Andrew Parker brought in his longest catch of the season with a 15-yard gain against Notre Dame. It was his first reception of any kind since the third game of the season. He has been hampered by an ankle injury the past few weeks.

* OG Joe Looney sustained a dislocated right ring finger on the first possession of the game against Notre Dame. He returned to the game on that series.

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