First Road Game of the Season
Over the last three seasons, Notre Dame is 6-7 in true road games in the regular season. The Irish answered the call in their first two road games of 2017, defeating Boston College and Michigan State in back-to-back weeks by a combined score of 87-38. However, this is a new year and after enjoying three straight games in their backyard to open up the season, the first road game will be a great indicator of the maturity and leadership of this team.
While Wake Forest certainly can’t be overlooked considering the performances by Notre Dame the previous two weeks, the Irish are fortunate to be playing their first away game vs. a Wake Forest team over opponents like Michigan or Stanford. This is a great “get your feet wet” type of game where the Irish can get their first road game under their belt without having to travel to the West Coast or play in front of 100,000 in the Big House. BB&T field has a capacity of roughly 32,000, so the Irish shouldn’t be overwhelmed, as that is almost 2/3 less than the capacity of Notre Dame stadium.
Now — the luxury of having one away game in their first five games before playing at Virginia Tech is another story, but we’ll visit that topic in approximately two weeks.
The bottom line is that this is the first time Notre Dame travels to take on an opponent this season. It might not seem like a huge deal, but the routines and familiarity of snapping the ball in South Bend are gone, and who knows how that will impact the team.
I see this week as a welcomed and great change-of-pace for Notre Dame that will lead to a high intensity, focused Irish squad which bounces back from the previous two weeks in a big way. Three straight home games is nice, but can become mundane and repetitive. This is a great week to learn a lot about this team and hopefully pick up win number four in the process.