Hartman throws 4 TDs, No. 13 Notre Dame rushes to 42-3 win over Navy 

Marcus Freeman and the Fighting Irish are 1-0 to begin the 2023 season. 

No. 13 Notre Dame jumped ahead to a 28-0 halftime lead and earned a 42-3 victory in Dublin, Ireland, over Navy during the kickoff to the 2023 season on Saturday. 

Audric Estime and Notre Dame ran for 88 combined yards in the first quarter and didn’t look back. Estime set the Fighting Irish up with a 10-yard gain on the first offensive play of the game and Wake Forest transfer quarterback Sam Hartman followed it up with a 19-yard completion to wide receiver Jayden Thomas. 

Notre Dame scored touchdowns during each of its first five possessions and kept the Midshipmen from the end zone. 

Freeman and Notre Dame now begin the season on a winning note after beginning the 2022 campaign with back-to-back losses. 

Notre Dame claims first ranked win of season 

The Fighting Irish defense, which allowed opponents to average 328.6 yards per game last season, allowed 114 — all rushing — yards in the first half and 55 total yards in the second. Navy had four big plays of at least 10 yards and Notre Dame seemingly had an answer for each. 

Notre Dame nearly had a pair of fumble recoveries as linebacker Marist Liufau knocked the ball away from Midshipmen ball-carrier Eli Heidenreich with 13:40 to go in the second quarter. Official review showed that the Fighting Irish recovered the football out of bounds. The Fighting Irish also forced another fumble on the opening drive of the second half after a pitch miscue that was recovered by Navy. 

Offensively, the Fighting Irish provided a stout front that protected Hartman and paved the way for the ground game. Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt and the Fighting Irish offensive line helped set the lanes for 191 rushing yards and allowed two tackles for loss and no sacks. 

The win sets the tone for the Top 25 and the rest of college football, which will see most every team compete when Week 1 kicks off in one week. 

Hartman dazzles in Fighting Irish 

The Wake Forest transfer quarterback wasted little time getting acclimated to the Notre Dame offense. 

Hartman managed a 19-yard completion on his first pass attempt and later found the end zone twice in the second quarter. 

The former Third Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference member threw for 266 yards on a 19-for-23 completion rate. 

Perhaps no greater sign of his maturity and experience came during Hartman’s first touchdown pass of the second half. 

With 9:36 left in the third quarter, Hartman dropped back in the pocket and maneuvered his way back toward the line of scrimmage. He leaned into a pass on the run and found wide receiver Jaden Greathouse for his second touchdown of the game. 

Hartman performed well in his first game wearing a Notre Dame uniform, including a stretch of nine-consecutive completions through the end of the first quarter and most of the second. He’ll have a three-game stretch against Tennessee State, NC State and Central Michigan before a home matchup against No. 3 Ohio State on Sept. 23. 

Navy searches for momentum in Newberry’s debut 

The Midshipmen faced a tough challenge in their first game of the season. 

Under first-year head coach Brian Newberry, Navy featured its patented triple-option offense against Notre Dame. The triple-option spearheaded the Fighting Irish defense and made up Navy’s first-half total offense entirely. 

Navy reached the red zone twice, once in the first half and during its final offensive drive of the game. The Midshipmen led a 15-play drive that set them up in field goal position with 3:33 left to play. 

Midshipmen quarterback Tai Lavatai hurled a 39-yard completion to receiver Brandon Chatman to cross midfield late in the fourth quarter and kicker Evan Warren made his only of two field goal tries from 31 yards away. 

Navy finished with 169 yards of offense and 126 of which came on the ground. Lavatai threw for 43 yards and three ball-carriers had at least 30 rushing yards.

Newberry and Navy will turn their focus to their home opener against Wagner which is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. kick two weeks away on Sept. 9.