5-stars: The best and worst of Notre Dame’s win over Central Michigan

Notre Dame football has defeated Central Michigan 41-17 and improved to 4-0 on the young 2023 season.

The Irish have been scoring plenty of points, 40-plus points in every game so far. The defense was stellar through two games, and finally gave up a touchdown last week, before allowing two more today.

Ultimately, those two scores plus a field goal wouldn’t be nearly enough to take down the Irish this afternoon.

There was a whole lot of good that came out of the Irish’s win today, so let’s dig a bit deeper into who played well, 5-stars, and who didn’t, star, in Notre Dame’s win over visiting Central Michigan.

5 ⭐️ - Deep ball offense


Sam Hartman has been a surgeon when going deep. He throws with anticipation, puts the ball in good spots for his receivers who can turn up field and gain yardage. It’s great to get the receivers involved in the game, especially considering they have game breaking ability. In the fourth quarter, the broadcast flashed that Hartman was 4/5 for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns on his deep attempts. Impressive.

4 ⭐️ - Running back Audric Estime


The Irish back continued to churn out yards when the team needed them the most. He set the tone right out of the half, even though a huge run was called back on a hold in the first half. Late in the fourth, he ripped off another long run. A career high in yardage with 176, Estime one again showed the nation why he should be considered in the early Heisman conversations.

3 ⭐️ - Field goals


It’s great that Freeman has tons of confidence in Spencer Shrader. Unfortunately, the results have not been there. It’s a credit to the offense that Shrader hasn’t had to do much work, they keep scoring touchdowns. It would be nice for him to see a few go through the uprights, even though most of his attempts are 50-yards plus. Shrader would connect on a 31 and 50 yard attempts in the fourth quarter to salvage his stat line.

2 ⭐️ - Intensity


The Irish responded at half, but should they have ever really been in that situation? They are leaps and bounds better than the Chips, but allowed them to believe they could hang around. The good part is that Freeman has fixed this from last year, as this game could have ended up like Marshall, but the Irish ultimately got the win. This will be looked at as a blowout, but it wasn’t over until early in the fourth quarter.

⭐️ - Penalties


For the second game in-a-row, the Irish have struggled in this department. The first Chip scoring drive was aided by a roughing the passer penalty by Joshua Burnham. It almost happened again, this time it was Rylie Mills as the culprit, but luckily, CMU missed a 36-yard field goal attempt. A hold on Blake Fisher, a pass interference called on Jaden Mickey which led to a touchdown all in the first half. As for the second half, a holding call on Holden Staes negated a long Estime touchdown run with the Irish up only 14 points. The Irish can not expect to be this undisciplined against Ohio State next week to get a win.

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Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire