The senior linebacker set a school record with eight tackles for loss as the Wolfpack dominated the second half against Wake Forest to win its final home game of the year 38-3. It was a banner day for not just Irving, but many of the Pack seniors.
Russell Wilson, who has another year of eligibility but may not return as a senior, threw for 300 yards and two scores while rushing for two more touchdowns. Owen Spencer led all receivers with seven receptions and 138 yards to go along with a touchdown. Jarvis Williams also scored a touchdown and had 74 yards receiving for the game.
The defense had one of its best performances of the season, giving up a season low three points and just 188 yards on 58 plays to the Deacons. The defense was especially stingy in the second half, giving up just 51 yards over the final two quarters.
The Pack grabbed its seventh win on Saturday, the most regular season wins the team has had since 2003. The Pack also remains in control if its own destiny with the win, needing to win at North Carolina and at Maryland over the next two weeks to ensure its first ever trip to the ACC Championship game.
Wake Forest controlled the clock during the first half, slowing down the pace of the game and giving the Pack just four possessions in the half. The Pack drove down the field on its first attempt, as Wilson picked up a few key first downs with his feet. But the drive stalled in the red zone, with the Pack forced to settle for a 25-yard field goal to give it a 3-0 lead.
The Deacons answered with a field goal of its own and it took a goal line stand from the Pack to keep them out of the end zone. Wake pounded the ball on the ground and picked up huge gains with a pair of shovel passes, marching all the way down to the Pack's 1-yard line before the defense stuffed Michael Campanaro on third down and forced the game-tying field goal.
After the two teams exchanged punts, the Pack put the first touchdown of the game on the board thanks to its passing attack. The Pack hit on a 50-yard pass to Jarvis Williams and a few plays later Wilson found Williams in the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown reception to give the Pack a 10-3 lead. The Pack would take that lead into the halftime locker room as they stopped Wake again on the goal line in the final minute of the half, stuffing a 4th down try from the 2-yard line to keep the Deacons off the board.
The Pack managed to create some breathing room on the opening possession of the second half. This time it was Owen Spencer making the big play, hauling in a screen pass and out-running the Wake Forest defense to the end zone for a 38-yard touchdown to put the Pack up 17-3 early in the third quarter.
Wake Forest gave the Pack a gift after stopping the home team inside the Wake 40-yard line. The Deacons muffed the punt and the Pack recovered, giving them the ball inside their own 20-yard. The Pack wasted no time taking advantage of the mistake, as three play later Wilson waltzed into the endzone for his sixth rushing touchdown of the year to put the Pack up three touchdowns.
The Pack went to its back-up quarterback for its final touchdown drive, as Mike Glennon came in to help put the Pack up 38-3 midway through the fourth. James Washington got the touchdown run, leaping over the pile from a yard out for the final score of the game.