Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 18, 2023

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM NOV. 18, 2023 25 SAM HARTMAN: 'PUT IT ON ME' Sam Hartman walked off the field af- ter throwing his second interception of the day, an overthrown pass intended for senior wide receiver Chris Tyree and into the waiting arms of Clemson fresh- man safety Kylon Griffin. His eyes didn't leave his feet. After Clemson sealed its 31-23 win, Hartman made his message clear: "Put it on me." "I played very poor today," Hartman said. "Didn't play well enough to be a winning quarterback, to be a winning football team." T h e g ra d u a te s t u d e n t q u a r te r- back completed 13 of 30 throws with 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He was sacked twice. On his first intercep- tion, he threw it right to Clemson junior linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. Hartman tried to hit sophomore tight end Holden Staes on an out route from the slot, but he did not see Trotter star- ing at him and waiting, just inside of Staes. The sixth-year signal-caller stared right back at Trotter and Staes the entire time, telegraphing the throw, and Trotter broke on the ball with no one to stop him. "The guy got underneath the play, underneath the pass and I just shouldn't have thrown it," Hartman said. "Just tried to force one in there. Especially backed up [near Notre Dame's end zone], you can't do it. I did it." Hartman was upset with himself for one play, aside from the 2 interceptions, in particular. Near the end of the first half, facing third-and-goal from the 5-yard line, Hartman sprinted out to his right. His first read was freshman Rico Flores Jr. on a short out route, and he didn't pull the trigger. Looking back, Hartman said, he should have. He adjusted to freshman wide re- ceiver Jaden Greathouse, who gained separation in the back of the end zone. This time, Hartman threw it, but he missed everything. "It's just unacceptable, honestly," Hartman said. "You want to blame somebody, you want to tweet at some- body? Tweet at me. I deserve it." Hartman was not the only problem. Notre Dame's pass protection broke down several times. Irish wide receivers and tight ends were not open enough against a strong but banged up Clemson secondary, missing three of its starters. The loss of star junior tight end Mitchell Evans hurt Notre Dame badly. Freeman said Hartman did some things well, like extending plays with his legs. He'll need to watch the film to figure out exactly what happened. But he doesn't need a second look to know pick-sixes can't happen. "The biggest thing we can't do is turn the ball over," Freeman said. "We know we have to take care of the football. One of our things going into this game was we had to beat them in turnover margin, and we didn't do that today." Hartman will pick his head up by the time he faces Wake Forest, his former team, in two weeks. But this one will hurt. RUN DEFENSE NOT UP TO THE USUAL STANDARD Clemson gained 15 yards on two Phil Mafah runs on its first two plays from CLEMSON GAME NOTES BY JACK SOBLE AND TYLER HORKA Hartman completed only 13 of 30 passes for 146 yards (a feeble 4.9 yards per attempt) with 2 interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown that put the Irish in an 18-point deficit. PHOTO BY LARRY BLANKENSHIP

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