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Irish Insights


The other side

Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe knows a large part of the reason the Demon Deacons are playing host to Notre Dame on Saturday night is to get a chance to showcase his program.

"That's why we took the game," Grobe said during a Wednesday teleconference. "We had an opportunity to have the Fighting Irish come to our stadium in Winston-Salem (N.C.). I think it's a great thing not only for our fans but for our city and for our football team."

The game is being billed as "one of the biggest games in the history" of 43-year-old BB&T Field. Tickets near the 50-yard line and behind the Irish's bench have been selling for more than $350, according to The Associated Press. And there is enough faith in the lure of Notre Dame that it will be televised opposite the showdown between Alabama and LSU.

With so much build up, Grobe said he hopes his team can bounce back from last week's 49-24 loss to North Carolina.

"With Notre Dame, we're going to have to play above our heads to have a chance to beat these guys," Grobe said. "I think it's great for a program to have those guys come into town. Hopefully we'll play well. We didn't play well last week. But I think we know as a football team and as a coaching staff we've got a great football team coming to town Saturday night."

The Demon Deacons (5-3) jumped out to a surprising 5-1 start this season, and they knocked off then-No. 23 Florida State 35-30 on Oct. 15. But Wake Forest has lost two out of its last three.

Even though Notre Dame has an identical record as Wake Forest, Grobe stood by his 'playing over our heads' comments because of what he has seen on film from the Irish.

"They really look like they're starting to hit their stride right now and playing great football," Grobe said. "I think from a talent perspective is more what I'm talking about. We always feel like we can win. We had to play above our heads to beat Florida State. That's not something that our kids are not familiar with. We play really, really good teams. For us to have a chance to win, we've got to play good, good football. The disappointing thing for us is I think we had to do it last week and didn't do it against Carolina.

"This is just another one of those teams that's got enough talent that if you don't play well, you're not going to have a chance."