By Derek DeBurger
The Louisville Cardinals easily trotted to a victory Thursday night over the Murray State Racers.
Going into the game, the Cards knew that this would be the game to work out some of the issues that plagued them in their first outing. The biggest question mark was whether head coach Jeff Brohm could clean up the offense. Quarterback Jack Plummer was far more loose and in rhythm from his very first pass attempt. Plummer was highly accurate in the short and intermediate passing game, but still struggled some with deep passes.
Louisville’s skill players showed that they’re going to cause some nightmares all fall long. Running back Jawhar Jordan had 135 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries, including a 72-yard touchdown run. Jordan also had a 75-yard touchdown run that was called back due to a holding penalty.
Wide receiver Jamari Thrash once again showed that he is a terrifying sight in the open field, racking up 82 yards and a score on just three receptions, and a 12-yard touchdown run.
“Without question through two games they have been playmakers for us,” Brohm said in his post-game press conference. “They prove it every day, they do not miss a rep of practice. Our team knows they lead by example.”
Louisville’s defense looked stout in the first half, stuffing Murray State almost every time they tried a straight running play. There were several scares with blown coverages in the secondary, but fortunately, Murray could never capitalize on them.
For the second time in as many tries, Jeff Brohm and company showed their ability to make adjustments at the half. Instead of struggling to throw the ball downfield, the Cards kept pounding the rock and kept the passing game short. Instead of getting lost in the secondary, the Cards smothered receivers and even forced several turnovers.
After going up 35-0 Brohm put in the back-ups, which started his round-robin at the quarterback position. It was a veritable “who’s that” of the Cardinals quarterback room. The offense, however, showed no signs of slowing down with the second and third-string players getting the snaps. This goes to show just how deep Louisville is at so many positions.
“At some point, we are going to need them and you never know when,” Brohm said in terms of the QB depth. “In order to be a great football team, depth is very important.”
Louisville took a lot of great steps forward but still has some room for improvement.
The team still struggled on third downs, going 3-for-14, and had seven penalties resulting in 44 yards. That being said, Louisville totaled 690 yards on offense to Murray’s 166 yards, resulting in a resounding 56-0 win for Louisville.
The Cards will try to keep stacking wins next week on Sat. Sept. 16 at noon when they face the Indiana University Hoosiers at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Photo Courtesy // Annabelle Merz, Louisville Athletics