No. 10 Notre Dame beats NC State 45-24 for 29th straight regular-season win against ACC teams

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Sunday, September 10, 2023
Wolfpack's home opener delayed by lightning
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The Wolfpack's home opener was delayed by lightning.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- N.C. State lost 24-45 to No.10 Notre Dame Saturday after weather delayed the game by almost two hours.

Audric Estime ran for an 80-yard touchdown on the first play after an extended weather delay and Sam Hartman threw for four scores to help No. 10 Notre Dame beat North Carolina State 45-24 on Saturday.

Estime ran for 134 yards and two scores, including a 7-yard run through traffic with 10:42 left that put the Fighting Irish (3-0) in firm control. Notre Dame has now won 29 straight regular-season matchups against Atlantic Coast Conference teams in its scheduling partnership with the conference as a football independent but a member in all other league sports.

For Hartman, the sixth-year passer who transferred from Wake Forest, it was a familiar foe, too. The Demon Deacons were every-year in-state opponents for the Wolfpack in the ACC's former divisional format, and Hartman was 0-2 in Raleigh - including last November while taking four sacks.

This time, Hartman's team played from in front the entire way, and he threw for three scores after halftime as the Fighting Irish finally began to pull away. The last was a 35-yard score to tight end Holden Staes with 4:35 left that pushed the margin to 45-17.

Staes also had a 40-yard scoring catch in the third quarter, finishing with 115 yards on four catches.

Brennan Armstrong ran for a score and threw for two more for N.C. State (1-1), but he threw three interceptions and the Wolfpack got no rushing production beyond 26 yards. His 9-yard pass to Bradley Rozner with 1:16 left before halftime marked the first touchdown Notre Dame had given up this year after allowing just a field goal in romps against Navy and Tennessee State.

The game included a 1-hour, 45-minute weather and lightning delay with Notre Dame leading 3-0 at the 14:45 mark of the second quarter.

NC State asked fans to exit the stadium and return to their vehicles until the all-clear is given. The game resumed after about a 90-minute delay. But when the teams returned, Estime burst through a big hole on the right side and pulled away from defenders for the 80-yard score that was a quick jolt of energy for the Irish after the long wait to return.

NC State's Devan Boykin (12) breaks up a pass intended for Notre Dame's Jayden Thomas as State's Payton Wilson helps defend.
Karl B DeBlaker

Wild speculation on social media that a lightning strike knocked out Carter-Finley Stadium's massive new video board, were unfounded.

The scoreboard remained black during the weather delay but fired back up as the resumption of the game approached.

NC State's massive new jumbotron has remained dark throughout the weather delay.
NC State's Davin Vann hits Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman during the first half in Raleigh.
Karl B DeBlaker

The Fighting Irish led 3-0 with 14:45 left in the quarter when officials informed fans that the game would be suspended.

Heavy storms hit the Raleigh area in the morning, and ominous clouds lingered about two hours before kickoff. Those appeared to break in the first quarter before returning and leading to the game's pause shortly before 1 p.m.

The last time Notre Dame visited Raleigh was in 2016 when the game was played in monsoon conditions in the remnants of Hurricane Matthew. In a game that featured 10 fumbles, the Wolfpack won 10-3 with the only touchdown coming on a blocked punt return.

Farther west in Winston-Salem, Wake Forest's home game against Vanderbilt was delayed for more than two hours from the scheduled 11 a.m. kickoff.

Other ACC teams were also affected, Virginia Tech's home game against Purdue was delayed and Georgia Tech's home game vs. South Carolina State has yet to get underway.

The Associated Press contributed.