When it looked like Notre Dame was going to lose a tough game for a second consecutive week, quarterback Sam Hartman stepped up. Photo Credit: Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports Sep 30, 2023; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Sam Hartman (10) prepares to throw the ball during the first half of the game against Duke Blue Devils at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

One week after a tough loss to Ohio State, it seemed like Notre Dame’s football team would again be on the wrong end of a fourth-quarter comeback for a second consecutive week, this time against Duke. But quarterback Sam Hartman flipped the script.

With 2:35 remaining, Notre Dame’s offense took over needing a score. Time wasn’t a huge concern particularly since, trailing by only one point, the Fighting Irish just needed a field goal to take the lead. But starting from its own five-yard line, things looked bleak for Notre Dame. Things looked even more challenging later as, while the Fighting Irish managed to cross midfield, they faced a 4th-and-16 needing to convert.

Hartman dropped back to pass but didn’t see anything available to him. He scrambled to his right and, after briefly pausing just before crossing the line of scrimmage, took off. It was a good decision.

While the run put the Fighting Irish in field goal range, that quickly became moot.

After Hartman clocked the ball to save Notre Dame’s last time-out, the Fighting Irish gave the ball to someone more accustomed to running, Audric Estime. He did not disappoint.

Estime broke through Duke’s defensive line then ran past the rest of the Blue Devil defenders for a 30-yard touchdown run.

Notre Dame’s successful two-point try gave the Fighting Irish a 21-14 lead. They then forced a turnover on Duke’s final possession, sealing the win.

Naturally, Hartman’s game-winning performance earned him a lot of praise within the Notre Dame locker room.

But the praise did not stop there.

Hartman and the Fighting Irish will be in action in Week 6 against Louisville. That will be Notre Dame’s third consecutive game against an undefeated opponent.

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