We knew it would be a wild weather day for Notre Dame as they traveled to Raleigh to take on the NC State Wolfpack, but it was more weird than wild. Through it all, Notre Dame dominated the second half to win 45-24.
Notre Dame and NC State swapped a couple of punts each before there was any type of real offense from either school. Notre Dame took 12 plays to go just 50 yards, and the Irish sent Spencer Shrader out for a 54 yard FG attempt — which he nailed to make it 3-0 Notre Dame.
The weather rolled in and lightning forced a game delay less than a minute into the second quarter. The teams went into the locker room and the Irish were fed stadium hot dogs and bratwurst while they waited for about two and half hours before play began again.
The tubed meats must have done wonders for the offense as the first play after the delay was Audric Estime steamrolling 80 yards for a touchdown to make it 10-0, Irish.
AUDRIC ESTIME IS GONEEEEEEE— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 9, 2023
Late in the second quarter, NC State put points on the board after a 7-play 62-yard drive that was aided by a lot of striped help. The score came via a Brennan Armstrong pass to Bradley Rozner to make it 10-7. Toward the end of the drive, Marcus Freeman used a couple of timeouts to keep a little time on the clock for Notre Dame to work with, and boy did it work.
Sam Hartman found Chris Tyree for a 65-yard gain, and moments later Hartman found his favorite freshman target, Jaden Greathouse, for a 13-yard touchdown strike to make it 17-7 at the half.
It was a little sloppy entering the second half, and the Irish allowed NC State to stay in the game with a short Wolfpack drive that ended with a field goal to make the game 17-10. Notre Dame answered quickly with a 3-play, 76-yard drive that ended with a 40-yard touchdown catch and run by Holden Staes.
NC State didn’t back down and put together a 75-yard touchdown drive to put the game pressure on the Irish at 24-17 late in the third quarter. Sam Hartman fumbled the ball on the next drive, but the Wolfpack couldn’t capitalize on the huge opportunity and missed a field goal attempt to give the ball back to Notre Dame.
The Irish were forced to punt on a 3 and out on the next possession, but an Xavier Watts interception set up a short Irish drive that ended with a Sherwood Davis touchdown reception. Brennan Davis threw another interception on the next Wolfpack drive (this time to D.J. Brown) and the Irish quickly scored via an Audric Estime rushing touchdown.
The pounding continued as the Irish stopped NC State on a 4th down conversion, and five plays later Sam Hartman found Holden Staes for a second touchdown — this time it was a 35 yarder over the top of the defense to make it 45-17.
NC State put together a 65 touchdown yard drive late in the game to make it 45-24.
Holden Staes had 115 yards receiving and two touchdowns on the day while Audric Estime rushed for over 130 yards and two touchdowns himself.
More to come on One Foot Down.