The Duke Blue Devils have been lower than a minute, and just one play, from scoring one other main upset this season and sure incomes what may have been their highest rating in a long time.
All of it fell aside once they allowed Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman to scramble for a 17-yard run on fourth-and-16 to maintain the Preventing Irish drive alive.
One play later, Audric Estime broke by means of up the center for a 30-yard landing run to provide Notre Dame a 21-14 lead and cap off a 95-yard drive in underneath two minutes.
The large query Duke goes to need to ask itself right here is why it didn’t deliver any stress on Hartman on the fourth-down play. For the whole thing of that final drive, the Blue Devils have been relentless of their blitzing of Hartman and it was clearly disrupting him and forcing some dangerous throws. That features one which was almost intercepted simply earlier than his fourth-down conversion.
Then, for some motive, the usually aggressive Mike Elko determined to solely rush three defenders on the fourth-down play and gave Hartman sufficient time and room to truly run for 17 yards. It was only a actually weird name given the circumstances and particularly contemplating how the drive had been unfolding earlier than that play.
Why cease doing what was working? Clearly, Duke didn’t wish to be too aggressive in that spot and threat giving up a giant play, however the Blue Devils ended up doing that, anyway, due to how passively they performed the down.
Hartman was not at his greatest for Notre Dame on Saturday, however he nonetheless managed to make the largest play of the evening when the Irish wanted him most.