By Brendan Holba (Welcome back!)
(The opinions of Mr. Holba May Not Necessarily Reflect Those of CSZ)
I think if you would have told any entrenched Louisville fan at the start of the season that the football team would be 6-1 just past the half way mark with a home drubbing of Top Ten Notre Dame in prime time they would be ecstatic. However, in a “what have you done for me lately” world, 6-1 is not 7-0. And after losing to a down Pitt team just one week after thrashing Sam Hartman and the Irish, 6-1 feels like a let down. Is it time to hit the panic button on Jack Plummer and the offense though?
On the one hand, Plummer’s experience and abilities argue for him to remain the Cardinals’ starting quarterback down the stretch of what appears to be a historical first season of the Brohm era. However, the turnovers, especially the crucial ones in the red zone, coupled with a quarterback room bursting at the seams with talent may lend itself to a move by the coaching staff.
With the exception of his inaugural year as a starter at Purdue (also under the guidance of Coach Brohm where Plummer tallied 11 touchdowns and 8 interceptions), he consistently steered the ship, producing a strong 15 touchdowns with a mere 2 interceptions in his last season and a half in West Lafayette. However, his role was eventually assumed by Aidan O’Connell and a stagnant Boilermaker offense, prompting his transfer to Cal in November of the 2021 season. Last fall in the PAC 12, Plummer seized the starting position and delivered the most exceptional season of his career to date, amassing an impressive 3,119 yards, 21 touchdowns, and just 9 interceptions.
Nonetheless, even with a strong 6-1 start, a growing chorus of fans and pundits are beginning to wonder if it’s time for a quarterback switch in the Derby City. While Plummer undeniably possesses impressive experience and skill, his performance this season has left us with a few eyebrow-raising moments. The anticipation for a player of his caliber and seasoned expertise is to efficiently orchestrate the game and deliver the ball to the dynamic playmakers at his disposal.
Currently, the QB talent under the guidance of Coach Brian Brohm is reaching unprecedented heights, showcasing a level of potential that hasn’t been seen in years. Harrison Bailey, a former 4-star recruit, may not have found his footing at Tennessee or UNLV, but his skills still shine brightly. And then there’s the electrifying presence of Pierce Clarkson, the 4-star freshman hailing from California whose abilities as both a passer and a runner are nothing short of extraordinary. Rest assured, the future of our offense is in supremely capable hands with these two outstanding prospects leading the charge.
If the trapiest of trap games didn’t jump up and bite the offense, particularly from poor quarterback play in the redzone we wouldn’t be having this discussion. However, I believe in this coaching staff and if the Brohm family believes that Plummer is the guy, then yes, Jack is the man!