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Saturday, November 5, 2011
End of first: Irish 10, Wake Forest 10

By Matt Fortuna

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — We've got a wild one here early, with each offense scoring on its first two possessions and each being aided by long kickoff returns.

Notre Dame and Wake Forest are tied at 10 entering the second quarter, with two big coverage breakdowns resulting in wide open touchdown passes.

The first came from the Demon Deacons' Tanner Price to Brandon Pendergrass for 20 yards for an early 7-0 lead. Tommy Rees later answered by finding a wide open Tyler Eifert for a 38-yard touchdown pass to tie things up at 10.

Wake Forest had the first punt of the game right before the first quarter ended, giving the Irish the chance to take their first lead of the night.

I can't say the early fireworks are too surprising, as Wake has a tendency to jump out to early leads. The key, as always, has been sustaining that for four quarters, something that will be all the more difficult with a depleted backfield and undersized defensive front. We'll see if the Irish try to take advantage of that when the second quarter begins.