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SB Nation Reacts: In Hartman We Trust

...but could we get more disruption on defense?

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With kickoff against Tennessee State less than 48 hours away, let’s check in with how the Notre Dame Fighting Irish fanbase is feeling this week.

The first question is our baseline question: How confident are you in the direction of the football program? Entering the Navy game, sentiment was very high — 48 percent of respondents were “very confident,” while an additional 47 percent were “somewhat confident.”

This week, the confidence is even higher. Fifty-eight percent are “very confident,” and 40 percent are “somewhat confident,” leaving the doubters nearly negligible.

With a sample size of just one game that counts, it’s a perfect time for overreactions. With that in mind, we asked: What do you consider the team’s greatest strength.

It’s likely no surprise that two-thirds of respondents are most thankful for Sam Hartman under center. Hartman was 19-for-23 for 251 yards and four touchdowns against zero interceptions. The bookends of Joe Alt and Blake Fisher finished a distant second, garnering 22 percent of the vote.

We must also look at the other side of the proverbial ledger, asking our readers what they considered most concerning about the 42-3 win over Navy. Fifty-five percent said they were hoping for more disruption from the defensive 11, while 29 percent identified the kicking game as the most troublesome. The defense had two sacks, three hits and five hurries, according to Pro Football Focus. Spencer Shrader was six-for-six on extra points, but missed his only field goal try.

Finally, we offered a bit of levity. Since there was little point to asking fans if they thought Notre Dame was going to be FCS’ Tennessee State, we asked instead: What will be the end result? Thirty-six percent said they hoped this would convince athletic-director-in-waiting Pete Bevacqua to block any future FCS opponents, while an additional 30 percent said they’d actually miss play-by-play man Noah Eagle. Eagle called the first game, replacing Jac Collinsworth — who was ill. Paul Burmeister will handle PvP duties on Saturday for NBC.

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