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Notre Dame gets ready for Wake Forest

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly wants his team to be able to string together victories in bunches.

After last week's dismantling of Navy, the Irish (5-3) will try to start a season-ending winning streak when they travel to play Wake Forest (5-3) at 8 p.m. Saturday.

"We want to build on playing very well last Saturday," Kelly said at his Tuesday news conference. "We're excited about carrying that over for this week."

Saturday night will be the first time Notre Dame and Wake Forest play each other, and the Demon Deacons' 31,500-seat BB&T Field is the smallest venue the Irish have played in since 1945.

Kelly wasn't concerned about being unfamiliar with an opponent at this point in the season, and he doesn't think the smaller stadium will be much different than other road games.

"I think nine games into the season, they know what to do and how to do it," Kelly said. "We recognize that it is going to be a great atmosphere, but we get that everywhere we go. Our guys are prepared. They know that Wake Forest is going to play their best."

The Demon Deacons throw a different offense at the Irish this week after Notre Dame shut down Navy's triple-option offense last week.

Wake Forest averages 275.6 passing yards, and the receiving corps is led by Chris Givens' 928 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Givens averages 116 receiving yards, and he is complemented by Michael Camparano's 62 yards per game, Danny Dembry's 49.1 yards per game and Terence Davis' 26.4 yards per game.

"I think it's the strength of their football team," Kelly said. "This is a deep and talented group, and we're going to be challenged."

Kelly said he will choose this week between starting running back Cierre Wood, who started the first seven games, and Jonas Gray, who started last week. He also said defensive end Ethan Johnson, who is trying to return from a high ankle sprain, is day-to-day.

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.

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