Hartman shines again in No. 9 Notre Dame’s 41-17 win over Central Michigan

Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 7:10 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU/AP) - Sam Hartman added to his Heisman resume and continued to climb FBS career charts in No. 9 Notre Dame’s 41-17 victory over Central Michigan on Saturday.

The graduate transfer quarterback from Wake Forest threw three touchdown passes and ran for another as the Irish (4-0) pulled away from the Chippewas (1-2) in the second half after leading 21-14 at halftime.

Hartman struck early, connecting with Tobias Merriweather for a 75-yard touchdown pass on Notre Dame’s fourth play of the game. He also fired a 76-yard TD pass to Chris Tyree in the second quarter and passed 4 yards to Holden Staes for a score in the fourth quarter. He finished with 330 yards passing and powered into the end zone from the 1 in the third quarter.

Hartman now has 13 TD passes through the first four games of the season — a feat that no other quarterback in Notre Dame’s storied history has ever achieved. Jimmy Clausen threw for 10 touchdown passes in his first four games of the 2009 season, and Brady Quinn threw for nine TDs in the first four games of the 2006 season.

Hartman’s three TD passes on Saturday vaulted him into seventh place on major college football’s career list with 123. He passed Aaron Murray of Georgia and Ty Detmer of BYU and is tied with Oklahoma’s Landry Jones at No. 7 all-time.

While Hartman’s performance stood out, he wasn’t the only Notre Dame player who shined on Saturday. Audric Estimé rushed for 176 yards on 20 carries and scored a touchdown. Meanwhile, Tyree’s move to wide receiver after three seasons as a running back continues to pay dividends. He has eight catches for 216 yards, averaging 27 per catch, and two touchdowns.

With the win, the Irish improved to 10-0 against opponents from the MAC. They also set a school record by scoring 40+ points in five straight games dating back to last year’s Gator Bowl victory over South Carolina.

Notre Dame now awaits a top-10 showdown with No. 6 Ohio State next Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish announced back in the summer that they will wear all-green uniforms during their primetime matchup against the Buckeyes. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. EDT right here on WNDU.

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