Updated: Sunday, 18 Nov 2012, 11:22 AM EST
Published : Saturday, 17 Nov 2012, 10:16 PM EST
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP/WANE) — Everett Golson threw touchdown passes of 50, 34 and two yards, Cierre Wood scored on a 68-yard run and third-ranked Notre Dame beat Wake Forest, 38-0, Saturday to finish the season undefeated at home for the first time since 1998 and keep its national championship hopes alive.
The Fighting Irish improved to 11-0 for the first time since 1989 and need to beat USC to finish a regular season undefeated for the first time since 1988, the last time they won a national championship. The Demon Deacons (5-6) fell to 1-33 all-time against top-five teams.
The victory virtually assures the Irish of a berth in a BCS bowl game. The Irish need a win over USC and, probably, a loss by either No. 1 Oregon or No. 2 Kansas State to slip into the BCS title game.
But Notre Dame players and coaches have said all along they are focused only on what they can control, and on Saturday they were in total control of Wake Forest. The Irish hadn't scored more than 20 points at home in regulation all season, but had 31 by halftime behind Golson's 317 yards passing — 28 yards more than his season high for an entire game, against Purdue.
Fourteen of Golson's 17 first-half completions led to first downs. Golson finished with 346 yards on 20-for-30 passing with one interception. Wood rushed for 150 yards in 11 carries and Bishop Dwenger graduate and Fort Wayne native,Tyler Eifert, had six catches, giving him 130 for his career, breaking the school record of 128 set by Ken MacAfee in 1977.
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