How much better was Hartman for Notre Dame football than Drew Pyne?
That question might seem a bit of a hot take, but it is worth asking. Physically, they are eerily similar. Both are around six feet tall and about 200 pounds with good, not great, arms. Hartman and Pyne were not highly sought-after recruits coming out of high school. Pyne was thrown into the fire after Tyler Buchner was hurt and found his way as a quarterback.
Pyne’s 2022: 2,021 yards, 22 touchdowns, six interceptions
Hartman’s 2023: 2,549 yards, 22 touchdowns, seven interceptions
Notre Dame finished 9-4 in 2022 and is currently 8-3 this year. Tight end Michael Mayer led the Irish in receptions last year, and tight end Mitchell Evans still leads the Irish in receiving despite a season-ending injury three weeks ago.
The offense is six points better this season, but Notre Dame did not have an FCS opponent or a team playing as poorly as Pitt was in 2022.
Coach Freeman told Pyne to transfer despite solid play. How much better was the offense than last year? Pyne also did not benefit from this season’s improved receiver room either.
That’s not to say that Notre Dame football’s record would have been any better with Drew Pyne as QB1. It was supposed to be better with Hartman; it wasn’t. That’s not to blame Freeman for telling Drew they were pursuing a quarterback in the portal. It was the right move, but it did not work out as Freeman and his staff thought.