Notre Dame’s thrilling comeback on Saturday night against Duke was capped with a 30-yard touchdown by running back Audric Estime with 31 seconds remaining. The Irish, who navigated a drive led by quarterback Sam Hartman from their own five yard line, were down 14-13 at that point could have attempted to setup a game-winning field goal just before Estime broke loose for the game-winning run.
Speaking with the media after the game, Hartman defended the touchdown run by essentially shrugging it off and focusing more on the excitement of the moment. And in turn, Hartman provided the perfect three-word response to sum up how he felt in the moment, something Irish fans would surely echo.
“Touchdowns are awesome,” Hartman said after the game.
WATCH: #NDFootball QB Sam Hartman on what he was thinking as Audric Estime scored on a 30-yard run with 31 seconds left rather than slide to set up a winning field goal with no time left. “Touchdowns are awesome.” pic.twitter.com/BrewAg3Q5s— Mike BerardinoNDI (@MikeBerardino) October 1, 2023
Notre Dame and company were on the road facing an undefeated Blue Devils team in a battle of top-20 teams. Duke was just one defensive stop away from moving to 5-0 on the year and notching its second top-15 victory to start the year after defeating Clemson in the opener.
But Hartman, who threw for 222 yards, and Estime (18 carries, 81 yards, two touchdowns) had different plans. Hartman’s impressive 17-yard run on fourth and 16 saved the drive prior to Estime's run and helped Notre Dame move to 5-1 on the season — a huge road victory and bounce back performance after falling to Ohio State just one week prior in heartbreaking fashion.