Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman’s debut was all one could ask for. It left him crediting coaches, the offensive line, running backs, and the defense for their roles. The Irish dominated 42-3 victory over Navy in Ireland’s capital. Hartman had 12,967 passing yards at Wake Forest before he came to Notre Dame. He doesn’t have to wear the pressure of a full career in South Bend like those quarterbacks did.
Photo Cred: CBS Sports
Hartman threw four touchdowns, including two to Jaden Greathouse, and completed 19 of 23 passes for 251 yards. Notre Dame, ranked 13th, displayed prowess in the air and on the ground. He was able to maintain an undefeated record against Navy in Dublin. Two factors stood out in Hartman’s debut.
The Passing Attack
He gives Notre Dame a dangerous down-field passer. According to Pro Football Focus, Hartman was 3-of-4 for 69 yards and three TDs on passes 20 yards or more. He also spread the ball out to his receivers. Greathouse (three catches, 68 yards, two TDs), Jayden Thomas (four catches, 63 yards), Deion Colzie (three catches, 45 yards, one TD), and Chris Tyree (three catches, 36 yards) put up great numbers.
Photo Cred: One Foot Down
The O-Line and RB; Navy Falters
Hartman emphasized the offensive line’s protection, allowing him ample time for reads. Leading the rushing attack, Audric Estimé tallied 95 yards on 16 carries, including a one-yard touchdown. Navy’s offense struggled, attempting only one pass in the first half, reflecting its one-dimensional approach. Hartman’s debut tied records for most touchdown passes by a Notre Dame quarterback in their first game with the team.
Photo Cred: SI
Notre Dame’s promising performance sets a positive tone for the season, with a favorable schedule ahead. Navy now has a break before facing Wagner on September 9. The impact of this victory on Notre Dame’s ranking remains uncertain, given it was a week zero game against a weaker opponent.