Sam Hartman hadn’t thrown an interception through his first six games with Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish hadn’t lost to an ACC opponent in their last 30 attempts. Louisville hadn’t lost a game this season.
Only one of those streaks remained intact after the 25th-ranked Cardinals (6-0) pulled off the 33-20 upset, handing Notre Dame its second loss Saturday night in front of 59,081 fans at L&N Stadium in Louisville, KY.
Louisville’s defense continuously pressured Hartman, sacking him five times and shut down Notre Dame’s powerful run game, holding the Fighting Irish to just 44 yards total rushing. Jeremiyah Love led the Irish with 37 yards on the ground while Audric Estime managed to get 20 yards. Hartman finished 22 of 38 passing for 254 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Hartman’s interception-free streak came to an end on the fourth play from scrimmage. Taking the snap in the shotgun, Hartman faced pressure from his left side and tried to hit Rico Flores, Jr. along the sideline. The pass was slightly overthrown, and Louisville’s Quincy Riley picked it off. Notre Dame finished with five turnovers.
The Cardinals then went on a 13-play, 70-yard drive and took the first lead on a Jack Plummer to Jamari Thrash touchdown pass with 6:05 left in the first quarter. Plummer finished 17-of-24 for 145 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Cardinals running back Jawhar Jordan ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
Notre Dame tied the game when Hartman found Jordan Faison for a 36-yard touchdown pass to cap the first half scoring. With the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter Hartman threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mitchell Evans, who led the Irish with 71 yards receiving.
Down 17-13 to start the fourth quarter, Notre Dame stopped Louisville on 3rd-and-15, but a flag came in for face masking on Marist Liufau to extend the Cardinals’ drive. Four plays later Jordan ran in a 21-yard touchdown to give Louisville a 24-13 lead.
The Cardinals then scored three consecutive field goals, the first of which aided by stopping Notre Dame’s 4th-and-11 attempt at their own 35-yard line.
Notre Dame kicker Spencer Shrader hit field goals of 53 and 54 yards in the third quarter, tying a Notre Dame record for career 50-yard field goals with four. The 54-yard kick tied the school record for longest field goal, which he set earlier in the season.