Sam Hartman facing North Carolina opponent for the first time in blue and gold

NOW: Sam Hartman facing North Carolina opponent for the first time in blue and gold

It's been one hot topic among fans and the media all week: will Sam Hartman overcome his past struggles at NC State and finally walk away with the win?

These are different teams, and Notre Dame Offensive Coordinator Gerard Parker told the media they don't want to bring up ghosts.

But they're kind of hard to ignore.

Sam Hartman was the most highly recruited quarterback in the transfer portal after his five years at Wake Forest. For Notre Dame, he was the priority.

Freeman and the Irish faithful were impressed by the 24-year-old’s numbers with the Demon Deacons: 110 touchdowns and more than 13,000 passing yards.

In his first trip back to Carter-Finley Stadium, Hartman would rather not take a trip down memory lane.

In three previous starts against the Wolfpack, Hartman threw six touchdowns, but he also threw six interceptions and was sacked 13 times.

It’s almost like the Wolfpack had his number.

“It's a very hostile environment, you know, their fans are going to bring it and they're not going to like us,” Hartman said.

But a rowdy crowd and even past mistakes don't outweigh Hartman's veteran leadership.

“The thing about Sam is, is the ability for him to come over to me and say, ‘I'm good.’ You know, he made some, maybe an error to hay, a bad read. And he looked at me and was like, ‘I'm good,’ said Head Coach Marcus Freeman.

He is indeed good. NC State coach Dave Doeren knows exactly what Hartman is capable of.

It’s safe to say what he did in the black and gold won't matter when he takes the field in the blue and gold.

“As far as looking about what he did in that offense against them, it really just doesn't apply to us,” said Offensive Coordinator Gerad Parker.

“How you defended him and Wake's offense is different than how you defend him in this one, because of the run game, the play action game, the things that are unique about Notre Dame system,” said Doeren. “We do know, from experience, what kind of player he is, and there's a great amount of respect, you know, from our staff towards that young man.”

NC State was ranked in the top 25 the past two times they faced Hartman.

This time, the Wolfpack is unranked after a season opening win at Connecticut.

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