Hartman kills his project stock
Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman once again had a big game with his excess picks. Has the trend caused irreparable damage to his inventory project?
Sam hartman is an exceptional athlete and an even better person, so criticizing him almost feels like a crime. However, the Wake Forest QB has developed a nasty habit of underperforming in big times, and it can’t go unanswered anymore.
The predominant examples of such questionable behavior can be traced back to last season’s Duke’s Mayo Bowl between Wake Forest and Wisconsin. Now both teams were very flawed in 2020, so the game wasn’t exactly material for the national title, but it was still a big game against a big opponent.
Sam Hartman seemed to know it, because it was in that battle where he, a quarterback who had previously received media praise for his lack of interceptions, threw four in what ended up being ugly 42-28 loss.
As previously established, this was far from the biggest game Hartman played during his time at Wake Forest. Rather, it was simply a matter of foreshadowing what the world would see in even more in-game moments.
The Demon Deacons started this college football season with a remarkable 8-0 record and their offense was so deadly under Hartman that it even started to generate some hype from Heisman. That was until they had to visit the North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill.
Similar to last year’s Wisconsin Badgers, UNC has been a huge disappointment this season and hadn’t even looked like it had to compete with the Deacs.
However, Hartman had heard that the Heels were going to kill the playoff hype once and for all in Winston-Salem. Not only that, but the rivalry with UNC hasn’t been quite a pretty one for Wake Forest historically. In other words, it was Wake’s biggest game of the season at the time.
Hartman threw for an incredible 398 yards and five touchdowns in the air, while adding two more rushing touchdowns.
Along with all that, however, he threw two costly interceptions (the most he had thrown in a single game all season so far) and helped the Tar Heels come back from an 18 deficit. points in the second half to win. this, 58-55 and give Wake Forest their first loss of 2021.
Sadly, the big game woes were only just beginning with UNC. Clemson was the next heartbreaker, but they refused to even keep him interesting. The Tigers started early and never looked back into what was a 48-27 low blows. And in all fairness, the game was visually more off balance than the final score suggests.
Now Hartman didn’t really throw an abundance of picks here, instead he just kicked one. But in the process, he also threw only one touchdown pass.
The only other time he did so little in the air was against a Norfolk State weakling, as there was simply no point in doing anything more in the air. 41-16 win.
What did the whole Clemson game have in common with the UNC game? They both involved Wake by entering them with playoff hype, both had teamed up with Wake against historically superior rivals, both had tough environments to play in and both had skeptics saying Wake would lose. And this disastrous trend does not end there either.
This past Saturday, against the Pittsburgh Panthers in the ACC title game, was Sam Hartman’s greatest moment to date, besides being Wake Forest’s greatest in 15 years. And surprise, surprise: it was also the setting for one of Hartman’s worst performances to date.
The gunslinger quarterback, known for passing 300 yards on a bad day and orchestrating one of the toughest offensive regimes in the country, threw under 220 and scored four steals in what was a smashing 45-21 win for Pitt.
UNC, Clemson and Pittsburgh all have at least formidable defenses, but throwing a total of seven picks against all three is unacceptable for a typical Sam Hartman standard passer.
Even in the big games Wake won, like those against NC State and Boston College, Hartman’s play was not as magnificent as it could have been. In the 45-42 winning on the Wolfpack, he pitched for under 300 and three picks. He also had a choice against British Columbia, where his passing distance was even shorter. However, he went unnoticed against an opponent as lackluster as Boston College, who nonetheless found a way to lose by a hideous score of 41-10.
Again, Sam Hartman can play a good ball, but he’s clearly unable to go big when the time is right. NFL scouts crave a player’s clutch ability, especially when the player in question is a quarterback, and right now Hartman doesn’t have that at all. If it does not improve on the big stages, and quickly, its stock of draft will surely suffer.