It was a beautiful night for football in Louisville, KY. The summer heat had relented, and a much more autumn-like feel was in the air as Head Coach Jeff Brohm prepared to take his Cardinal team on the field for his first home game as the leader of the program. Once again, an air of excitement radiated through the fan base as they prepared at their tailgates to watch these Cards murk Murray State. The team looked to give the fans who would fill the stadium the entertainment and the shellacking they had all come to see. Meanwhile, the Racers raced into L&N Stadium on the wing of a prayer, a prayer to pull off one of the biggest upsets in recent memory. For Louisville, they delivered the beat down that the fan base had craved and looked, for the most part, sharp in doing so. Unfortunately for Murray State, they were on the other end of the first official murking of the Jeff Brohm Era. They hobbled off the new turf when the clock hit zero towards their locker room after the drubbing. The wings had been cut and the prayer went unanswered.
The last two seasons, Louisville had faced the equivalent of Murray State in the forms of Eastern Kentucky University and James Madison. James Madison, it is important to note, had just made the jump to FBS last season. In both those games, the Cards didn’t deliver the impressive performances fans had desired. They were victories, but they weren’t spectacular and they didn’t allow for backups to play significant snaps. Against EKU, the Cards only mustered 30 points in a 30-3 win. Then against James Madison they only managed to score 34 in a 34-10 win. The Cards should’ve had these games on ice by the late 3rd quarter and got valuable experience for the 2nd and 3rd stringers, but it wasn’t meant to be. These Cards under their new regime did what was expected as they harassed and gashed Murray State for a hugely satisfying 56-0 victory. Of course, UofL went deep into their depth, playing all 9 QBs on the roster.
QB Jack Plummer once again wasn’t as sharp as many would’ve hoped early on, but he once again showed veteran poise to right the ship. He ended up 16-22 for 247 yards and 1 TD. He did have 2 interceptions. One was an underthrown ball, but the other was on a Hail Mary pass at the end of the 2nd quarter. So, at least one can be dismissed. He did have two very nice throws on a throw to Kevin Coleman on the first drive and on a beautiful slant between two defenders for a Jamari Thrash TD.
Speaking of Jamari Thrash, he was brilliant again on this night. He only reeled in 3 receptions, but they went for 87 yards and the aforementioned TD. His average yards per catch was 27.3 yards. Kevin Coleman only had two catches for 37 yards, but the first catch was spectacular. It was a crucial 3rd-and-long on the opening Cardinal offensive drive. As he was being held by the defender, Coleman reached out with one hand and made an immaculate catch that kept the eventual touchdown drive alive and helped spark the Cards. Jimmy Calloway had a quietly productive performance with 4 receptions for 37 yards. It was good to see him have a decent game as it appears the staff really likes the former Tennessee Volunteer.
The rushing attack was ridiculous in this game for UofL. As always, it was led by Jawhar Jordan as he rushed for 135 yards and 2 TDs on just 7 carries. Jordan is looking like the star of this offense after two games. He had a 72-yard TD run and had a 74-yarder called back on a penalty. Also, Jordan was the third -leading receiver for UofL with 43 yards on 2 receptions. If he keeps this up, there maybe Heisman hype that follows. Maurice Turner sat out as a precaution for an injury so Isaac Guerendo was the primary backup. As he did in the Georgia Tech game, Guerendo was like a tank plowing through the enemy’s defenses. He carried the rock 11 times for 63 yards and a TD. Coach Brohm also utilized Guerendo in the passing attack as well. He caught 4 passes for 47 yards. In fact, he was the second-leading receiver. I imagine Murray State was happy when Guerendo went out as he punished them each time he touched the ball. Yet, there was no salvation for their defense. Instead, it was more punishment as freshman RB Keyjuan Brown entered and carried the ball 11 times for 65 yards and a TD. Brown is a mix of Jordan and Guerendo as he has some elusiveness, but loves to run through defenders. UofLs running back room is deep, talented, and will be a nightmare for opposing teams all season long.
The Cards defense was attacking all game long. Murray State’s QBs we’re constantly on the run as the defensive line continuously collapsed the pocket. All the pressure only resulted in a single sack, but it definitely limited Murray State’s ability to get anything done offensively. The Racers never really got out of the starting gate passing or rushing the football. They managed only a paltry 166 yards of total offense. Even when Murray had any semblance of a sustained drive, the UofL defense planted their feet and stonewalled any hope of a score for the Racers. TJ Quinn has been a true revelation at the linebacker spot for the Cards. He led UofL in tackles this week with 6 total and was a huge reason Murray couldn’t get traction running the ball. Meanwhile, Devin Neal has really softened the blow of losing starting safety MJ Griffin to injury during camp. He was the Cards second-leading tackler with 5 total while adding a fumble recovery and an interception. Ashton Gillotte recorded UofL’s only sack and also a tackle for loss. Ramon Puryear, Selah Brown, Jeff Clark, and Antonio Watts each had a half a tackle for loss. Stephon Herron and Jaylin Alderman also had a full tackle for loss. Contributions came from everywhere defensively. This was a far more dominant and consistent performance than week one. Hopefully, the defense continues to build each game as it appears to be doing after two games. If so, many opponents will definitely not want these Cards (shoutout to friend of CSZ BSimm).
A murking was what everyone hoped would be in the Cards on Thursday night and it was. This Cardinal team made Jeff Brohm’s homecoming a successful one. While it wasn’t 100-percent stress-free, it was 100-percent fun. It wasn’t a perfect game, but it was a perfect result. 56-0. A drubbing the likes of which fan’s eyes haven’t seen in quite a few years. This was the first shutout for UofL in 3 seasons. Back in November 2020 during the height of Covid, UofL shutout Syracuse 30-0. That’s a long time between shutouts. Louisville fans have longed to see a game that is dominated and won with ease by their Cards. They longed to see UofL football obliterate an opponent so completely that they got to see 3rd-stringers get some snaps. It was such a thorough deconstruction of the Murray State Racers that the 9th-string QB got to play. Now, the Cards have a trip to Indy on tap to take on the Indiana Hoosiers. While Louisville will be the favorite, Indiana held their own week 1 against Ohio State. This game may not be the gimme everyone anticipated when the schedule was announced. Then again, these Cards are loaded with talent and they have a meticulous head coach that will have them locked and loaded. Murray State didn’t have the winning hand and I have a feeling IU will soon find themselves royally flushed.
Check out the pressers and highlights below: