Andrea AdelsonESPN Senior Writer4 minutes of reading
While the number is 25 Louisville brought home native son Jeff Brohm and it was moments like Saturday night: a historic 33-20 victory over No. 10 Notre Dame that snapped the Irish record 30-game regular-season ACC winning streak.
Brohm, who grew up in Louisville and played quarterback for the Cardinals, now leads Louisville to a 6-0 record in his first year as head coach. After Louisville pulled off an upset over the Irish, fans stormed the field, and singer Jack Harlow stood near the prom and shouted, “He’s the s—!”
“It’s a great win,” Brohm said in his postgame press conference. “Yeah, I like big games. Our team likes big games. If you can’t get up for them, it’s not the game for you. But you’ve got to come ready to play. You’ve got to do all the little things. You’ve got to be aggressive.”
That’s how the Louisville Irish played with Sam Hartman from the start. It was reminiscent of the way Louisville played last season when Hartman was the starting quarterback at Wake Forest, committing six turnovers in a loss to the Cardinals. On Saturday’s opening drive, Hartman threw an interception — his first of three on the day.
Additionally, Louisville sacked Hartman five times and the Irish couldn’t get their running game going — gaining just 44 yards on the ground. In all, Notre Dame turned the ball over five times. Afterward, Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman said, “Nobody impacted our quarterback like Louisville did.”
“Everybody’s going to point the finger at Sam,” Freeman said. “You better point the finger at me. We’ve got to do a better job of protecting our quarterback and putting him in situations to have a higher percentage of success.”
Duke tried to make Hartman uncomfortable last week, but Hartman was able to make two key plays late in the game to lead Notre Dame to victory, including a fourth-and-16 run of 17. But it was not to be against Louisville, which completely controlled the game in the second half and was clearly the more physical team.
“We were aggressive with our packages against their individual looks,” Brohm said. “We’re going to throw the football and beat us, make him throw it over our heads. When we got the first interception on the first drive, they probably said they couldn’t throw it over their heads. Then we applied more pressure.”
It was the first time in school history that Louisville defeated an AP Top-10 opponent in back-to-back seasons. Last year, it was Hartman and No. 10 Wake Forest. This year, it’s Hartmann and Notre Dame. The Louisville defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, as did the Louisville offensive line — a week after not playing its best game against NC State.
Running back Jawhar Jordan made the difference with a season-high 143 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Jack Plummer played an efficient game, going 17-of-24 for 145 yards and a touchdown. It was a signature win for Brohm early in his tenure after Louisville hired him from Purdue to replace Scott Satterfield. But for Notre Dame, now with two losses, College Football Playoff hopes await another big game against USC.
“You don’t have a lot of time to feel sorry for yourself,” Freeman said. “I’m going to trust our leaders to make sure our guys understand that we have to learn from this game and then we have to move forward and get ready for USC. We can’t sit here and mope and feel bad about ourselves. We have to move forward and this will be a real test of our leadership.”