The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are undefeated this season, sitting at 8-0 for the first time in program history after a dominant 45-7 home win over the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday.
A large part of Wake Forest’s success as the team sits pretty at No. 10 in the rankings is quarterback Sam Hartman, who increased his Heisman Trophy chances by completing 24-of-37 passes for 402 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions, also rushing six times for 61 yards and two touchdowns against Duke.
It simply does not get much better than that. On display here is deep ball accuracy and placement over the middle of the field, a superior level of arm strength, speed and effectiveness as a runner when the situation calls for it, the ability to deliver a deep strike for the big play in the face of high pressure, the ability to evade pressure and throw on the run.
In short, Hartman checks quite a few boxes and can be a difference-maker both on the ground and in the air.
This performance comes on the heels of a win that looked more like a basketball score as Wake Forest downed Army, 70-56. Hartman completed 23-of-29 passes (79.3%) for 458 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions in that game, also carrying the ball four times for 22 yards with one rushing touchdown. His completion percentage in that outing was not only his highest in a single game this season but also his highest since Sept. 2018, when he completed 15-of-17 passes for 241 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions—but this one certainly meant more considering he attempted 12 more passes in this showing.
Speaking from an intangibles perspective, one thing that immediately pops out about Hartman is his composure. Even back in his freshman days, there was no sign of nervousness or overthinking—things that can quickly show up on the field and hinder a quarterback and extend through the entirety of the surrounding offense. He’s had the right mindset and level of confidence out of the gate.
So far this season, Hartman has completed 163-of-250 passes (65.2%) for 2,475 yards with 22 touchdowns and just three interceptions. From a completion percentage standpoint, he’s made notable strides—in the three years previous, Hartman recorded completion percentages of 55.3%, 56.7%, and 58.2%. So long as he keeps it up, this is a notable improvement and is just one number that illustrates the breakout season he’s having and the strides he’s made.
Hartman and the Demon Deacons will look to remain unblemished as they face UNC, NC State, Clemson, and Boston College up next on the schedule.