A sellout crowd of 60,000-plus fans is expected for Saturday’s clash against Notre Dame at L&N Stadium (Mike DeZarn photos).

The first month of University of Louisville football has been interesting, entertaining and fun. Complete with peaks and valleys, scary moments, goal line stands, crazy officiating calls, brilliant offensive calls mixed with some questionable decisions. Anything but predictable.

Fun, no doubt. As a native son, coach Jeff Brohm is living the dream of every UofL fan. The Cardinals (5-0) face their biggest test yet in a nationally televised game against 10th-ranked Notre Dame. Already a sellout, with more than 60,000 expected to set an all-time attendance record at L&N Stadium.

No surprise that Brohm is an excellent leader, player caller, strategist, as was obvious in several upsets in his previous job at Purdue. He  has instilled toughness, and his teams don’t quit as was obvious in that 13-10 win over North Carolina State.

Another interesting point about Brohm is he is humble, friendly to the fan base and loves the university and this city. This writer was fortunate to cover Brohm and his brothers while at Trinity and UofL. Greg and Brian are talented, smart and love football and the university. Their father Oscar was a quarterback in the late 1960’s and can be seen pacing the sidelines.

Greg is Jeff’s chief of staff and lends his opinions as well. Brian helps with play calling from the press box. Unlike some previous coaches, Jeff listens to his family and his assistant coaches in crucial situations.

The impressive thing about this football team is it was partly built from December to April and even after spring football. The portal and NIL were crucial. Brohm obviously had his sights on Jamari Thrash and others while at Purdue. But Scott Satterfield didn’t leave  the cupboard empty with the return of Jawhar Jordan, Amari Higgins-Bruce, Bryan Hudson, and Ashton Gillette.

If you’re from Kentucky or Southern Indiana and play football, Brohm has a pulse on who you are. Big Blue need not come sniffing around these parts. Brohm says he wants to put a circle around the university within a 200 to 300-mile radius for recruiting. There aren’t loads of star players in this area but with the transfer porta and NIL, he should have no problem recruiting.

There are seven regular season games remaining and a bowl bid. Win or lose against the Irish,  Louisville is off to an incredible start to improving its football brand.

“We don’t coach any different when we win or lose,” said Brohm. “It’s about getting better and learning. You win the day in practice and start stacking those days together. When you get to Saturday you’re prepared and ready.” A bit of coach speak, but true.”

The bottom line is that the Cards are winning again. A victory over Notre Dame would push the enthusiasm meter to new, unparalleled levels. Jeff’s teams always seem to be at their best in the biggest games. Anything can happen, and nobody will be surprised either way. It’s only season one and Brohm has the community ecstatic about UofL football again.

One staunch Louisville football knows all about putting on her game face (Mike DeZarn photo).
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By Ed Peak

Ed Peak has covered UofL sports since 1973, as a student reporter, as a correspondent for the Courier-Journal, a freelancer for the Associated Press and United Press International, as well as ScoreCard, Fox Sports and CBS radio.

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