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One Foot Down Reacts: Irish Fans Want Sam Hartman Unchained

Also: Your confidence in the team’s direction

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 23 Ohio State at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome back to One Foot Down Reacts, where we take the temperature of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football fans.

The first question is our season baseline question about the direction of the football program under the leadership of Marcus Freeman. Here’s where we’ve been:

Here’s where we’ve gone so far:

  • Preseason: 48 percent very confident, 47 percent somewhat confident, 4 percent somewhat doubtful, 1 percent not confident at all.
  • Post-Navy: 58 percent very confident, 40 percent somewhat confident, 2 percent somewhat doubtful
  • Post-TSU: 57 percent very confident, 39 percent somewhat confident, 3 percent somewhat doubtful, 1 percent not confident at all
  • Post-NC State: 76 percent very confident, 23 percent somewhat confident, 1 percent somewhat doubtful
  • Post-Central Michigan: No survey done.

Despite the close loss, fan confidence in the program remains at the same levels as seen after the Irish started 2-0 this year. While the numbers did certainly rise following the win versus North Carolina State, they have not plummeted as an overreaction to the defeat.

The second question was very straightforward: Do you believe Marcus Freeman’s coaching cost Notre Dame the win versus Ohio State. Nearly six out of every 10 respondents said yes, the coach was most responsible.

In our preseason poll, 61 percent of respondents believed the Irish would lose two or more regular season games. Of those, 43 percent said the Irish would finish the 12-game slate at 10-2, so it’s likely no surprise that 57 percent of respondents to this poll believe the Irish drop another regular season tilt. Hopefully it’s not today!

Finally, we asked: Which Notre Dame player has been held back from exhibiting his true capacity because of coaching? This result was fairly close, although quarterback Sam Hartman prevailed. The 24 percent who voted for Audric Estime were likely dismayed to see him come off their field after scampering for a first down late against Ohio State. And 46 percent of you are noticing that Tobias Merriweather and Chris Tyree, two of the fastest guys on the team, are getting open — but Hartman isn’t looking in their direction.

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