One week after losing to Ohio State in last-second fashion, Notre Dame football was on the winning side of similar late-game dramatics on Saturday night. The Fighting Irish beat Duke 21-14 at Wallace Wade Stadium, sealing an impressive road victory on Audric Estime's go-ahead, 30-yard touchdown run with 31 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman, a sixth-year senior transfer from Wake Forest, definitely didn't take his team's hard-fought win for granted in wake of last week's letdown to the Buckeyes.
“You [have] all the feelings that you can think of and fathom running off that field,” Hartman said after the game, per ESPN's Andrea Adelson. “Those moments are very few and fleeting. You only get 12, and if you're lucky you win most of those and then the other ones are heartbreaking.”
Hartman was far from his best against the Blue Devils, completing just half of his 30 throws for 222 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. The running game and defense picked up his slack, though, keeping the Fighting Irish in striking distance before Hartman led a 95-yard touchdown drive that culminated in Estime's game-winning scamper.
Hartman lauded his teammates after the game, also praising Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman, who's come under widespread fire after the Irish fielded just 10 defensive players on the deciding snap against Ohio State in South Bend.
“Last week was heartbreaking, and to come back and show resilience, it's really Coach [Freeman],” Hartman said. “His messaging never changes. You don't feel like, ‘Oh because we lost, he doesn't like us.' He took the blame and we all took the blame, took a look in the mirror, came out here and executed.”
Next up for Notre Dame football, 5-1, is a road matchup with Louisville on October 7th.