3 reasons why Notre Dame was able to take down Duke late

Notre Dame beat Duke behind a last-second offensive drive to keep their playoff hopes alive

Notre Dame v Duke
Notre Dame v Duke / Lance King/GettyImages

Notre Dame football beat Duke, 21-14 in a game that went down to the wire. The Irish took an early lead but struggled in the second half of this game. Notre Dame's offense was required to go down the field late in the fourth quarter to win the game. They were able to do it with an epic performance from Sam Hartman, who was not the only reason that the Irish were able to win the game, but his contribution was the most impactful.

3. Fighting Irish's first half defense

While the defense for the Fighting Irish was not perfect in the second half of this game, they certainly thrived in the first half of this game. The offense in the first half of the game didn't have itself together and wouldn't collect itself the entire night.

The defense had to step up and did as Duke had only 39 rushing yards at the half. In a game where the offensive line struggled mightily, the defense was able to pick up the pieces on their way to the victory.

2. Three reasons that Notre Dame was able to beat Duke: Mitchell Evans

Hartman didn't have a lot of time to get the ball out, and Mitchell Evans was able to be a huge get-out-of-jail-free card. The tight end started out the game not missing any targeted balls that came his way. Considering the placement of some of these throws, it's pretty incredible that he was able to do this.

Evans ended up with 6 receptions for 134 yards. No one else on the Fighting Irish really posted any notable receiving numbers in this game besides Evans.

1.Three reasons that Notre Dame was able to beat Duke: Sam Hartman

Usually, quarterbacks who barely throw for 200 yards on the day are the not biggest reason that the team won a game. In this case, Notre Dame's offensive line struggled a lot. Hartman was able to make up for the poor performance by extending plays. Of course, Hartman was able to run for an extremely key fourth down run that kept the game-winning drive going for Notre Dame. This play ended up rivaling a crazy UCF play that happened hours before.

While Duke only ended up rushing only three on that play, Hartman did an amazing job getting the first down by scrambling into space. As a whole, the QB was able to make up for a poor-ish day from the offensive (outside of Evans of course). Due to that, the Fighting Irish are still competing for the college football playoff

dark. Next. Ole Miss fans throw trash on field after controversial LSU TD during win. In Ole Miss's win over LSU, the Tigers got bailed out by the refs in the fourth quarter. Rebels fans had an interesting way to make their anger clear.