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Sunday, November 18, 2012
What we learned: Notre Dame vs. Wake

By Matt Fortuna

Here's what to make of the Irish's 38-0 win.

1) Notre Dame will be No. 1. The Irish have taken care of business, and all of the dominoes have fallen into place. South Bend is home to the nation's No. 1 football team with one regular-season game remaining, and there is really not much else to say beyond that.

2) Golson continues to grow. The redshirt freshman turned in arguably his best performance of the season Saturday, and he has seemingly gotten better each week since the Oklahoma game. The offense is more dynamic and he has much more freedom, and that is a good thing for the Irish … even if they no longer need "style" points.

3) About that D … The Irish already boasted the nation's No. 1 scoring defense, and it will only look better after notching its first shutout in three years. Wake Forest simply could do nothing offensively, and the Irish have now held five of their 11 opponents to less than 10 points this season.

4) These seniors are leaving quite a legacy. No other way to really put it. Some of these guys committed after a program-worst 3-9 record. They exited their final home game as the nation's No. 1 team. One game remains for a spot in the championship, but you really can't say enough about the fourth- and fifth-year players on this Irish team, especially considering how many close calls they've had this year -- a sign of true leadership. Of course, they left no doubt in their home finale, eradicating home woes in a 38-0 thrashing. Not a bad way to say goodbye.