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November 18, 2023

Sam Hartman

South Bend, Indiana, USA

Press Conference

Notre Dame 45, Wake Forest 7

Q. Sam, that stretch after halftime with the fumble and the touchdown on the next play, how much did it mean to you guys to start the second half like that?

SAM HARTMAN: Yeah, it was huge. Obviously it was a game coming out of halftime, and felt like we were executing again. Just needed to finish a couple more drives in the first half. Obviously did that going into the latter half of the game.

Again, our defense all years puts us in positions to make plays. Special teams, again, you get a blocked kick and an onside kick recovery, it makes our job easier on offense.

Q. Were there any nerves for you facing your former team and last home game? And how were you able to bounce back from a couple score possessions on offense?

SAM HARTMAN: I mean, I think it's the ebbs and flows the game. They were feeling us out, we were feeling them out. I'm sure there are corrections on the tape, but it was a weird game.

I think to say just another game be lying. Audric Estime. Another 100 yards for the boy. He went for 124. That's impressive.

No, I think it was an emotional game. I think Senior Night, second Senior Night, but here at Notre Dame, obviously it's an unbelievable send-off for our guys.

It's always going to point to me being the Wake Forest and whatever, but I was just happy to see us go out there and execute as a football team. I think we been, especially on offense, dying to do that for the past three, four weeks.

For our fans to get a performance by us that is I felt noteworthy and a fun experience and a game I'll always remember.

Q. Man bun? Are we going to keep this?

SAM HARTMAN: I'm not sure. Yeah, just kind of keeps the hair out of my face. I'm not up here just fixing my hair.

Q. You moved to fourth all-time in career passing touchdowns; FBS history today. What does what mean to you?

SAM HARTMAN: Just happy for a win. I think when I come back here and RP is showing me and my kids around I'll make sure he brings that up pretty organically. That's about it for me.

I think it's a credit to everybody. Shoot, it's a credit to a lot of the guys on the other team we just played, which is weird thing to say.

I think it's a credit to just everybody around me making plays and making catches and blocks and all that other stuff.

Q. After the last two performances you had without touchdown passes, how important was it to bounce back and have a game like this where you were in control for most of the night?

SAM HARTMAN: It's huge. It goes to show the ebbs and flows of college football. And, again, you'll say it's the defense you're playing, the team. Some nights the ball is a bouncing your way and some nights it's not.

Just really proud of guys for battling. Obviously there are narratives when you lose games and coming into the last two, but I felt like we handled our business like we needed to.

Q. Sam, what was it like to see the wide receivers have the performance they had today considering the ups and downs they had throughout the season?

SAM HARTMAN: I think it's all over that you just saw guys executing. You put on a tape from the weeks before and it's one guy here, myself here, this person here, and it was just a complete game.

Proud of everybody, especially the coaches, too, for believing in us and putting a game plan out for us to go execute and getting stuff done.

Q. The fan base here in Notre Dame Stadium has embraced you as well. The video board production crew seems to have embraced you as well. How have you handled all that? Was that something you were willing to embrace or something you begrudgingly embrace?

SAM HARTMAN: I mean, it's a part of the position. I try to give it to Steve because he's as deserving as anybody. He's got a big career ahead of him. Some of the throws he was making, he was three for three. His career percentages right now are looking really good. Probably an all-time stat leader. I think he should walk away from it all. Totally kidding.

No, if he does, record books for sure.

No, it's just great. The student section, it's not everywhere in the country that everybody is staying -- and the marshmallows -- I will say a funny story and this be the last thing I say, sorry. But I'm walking, and I'm not mad about this, it was incredible. I got a hot chocolate on the sideline. Yes, we have hot chocolate on the sideline.

I was done playing. I'm walking, and some girl -- and if I saw her right now I would know who she is but I don't know here name -- threw a marshmallow from the student section. It was like a 30 yard shot, landing in my hot chocolate, and I'm like, one of my teammates just did it. Really funny, guys.

And I look up and this girl is going nuts. She just dunked it in there, and obviously ceremoniously I chugged it.

I appreciate you guys. Just want to thank -- obviously not here anymore, but obviously Swarbrick and AD and Father John, RP, Katie, the media, all the custodians, the fans. It's been an incredible journey.

Two more left, but thank you. This is my message of thanks to everyone who has been a part of this, to you guys, to everybody. Thank you. Go Irish.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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