All Cardinals all the time and around the clock at L&N Stadium (Mike DeZarn photo).
Jeff Brohm is welcomed home in his first L&N Stadium game as Louisville’s head football coach during Card March (Mike DeZarn photos).

Big Thursday night in Louisville. First home game, second game in the 2023 college football season.

Tailgating has returned, the parking lots crammed with excited University of Louisville fans, many getting started five hours before kickoff. The atmosphere is electric, the beverages are flowing, the tables are set, reunions of UofL partisans all around. Where else would any UofL partisan want to be?

Jamari Thrash, a junior, will not be stopped in a rush to the end zone (Mike DeZarn photo).

And, yes, 53-year-old Jeff Brohm has returned as head football coach 30 years after his senior year as the starting quarterback. He’s back, surrounded by members of the expansive Brohm family, the first family of Louisville football. Bringing with him memories of his career under Coach Howard Schnellenberger at the old fairgrounds stadium. Bringing with him the optimism that his mentor instilled in him, matched only by his love for the city and his alma mater.

The fans were back inside L&N Stadium as well, with 45,273 of them in attendance. The enthusiasm tempered only by the fact that the opponent was Murray State (1-1) and a rout was inevitable. The Cardinals would score on their opening drive, a 12-yard touchdown by  wide receiver Jamari Thrash, and never look back, defeating Murray State 56-0 to improve to 2-0 on the season.

Quarterback Jack Plummer would complete 16 of 22 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown. Thrash would have three  receptions for 82 yards and a score. Running back Jawhar Jordan would rush for 135 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries.

“Proud of our football team today,” said Brohm. “I thought we came out and did exactly what we needed to do which was execute better, find ways to score points, and keep them out of the endzone. We were fortunate to play a lot of guys on the field which is great to see.

“These guys put in a lot of time, they are great teammates, and they are unselfish. So to be able to play a lot of guys in game two was a great thing, so I know they were happy. It makes things a lot of fun when you get that many people in, and from here we have to get ready for a tough stretch of games and understand everything from here on out will be a dogfight.”

This night the UofL football team was taking no one for granted, respecting the opponent, knowing the opposition will continue to get better from here on out. Brohm inserting eight quarterbacks along the way, along with numerous other younger players. Much to learn, much to accomplish.

Fans streaming for the exits late in the third quarter, game over, knowing the program is back on track. No doubt that Jeff Brohm is here is committed to Louisville. Ready for the days ahead, the lows and the highs, times are looking up again in football, the fun is back.

Dad bringing his baby out to the ballpark early for the once and future Cardinal fan (Mike DeZarn photo).


Pregame prayer on the 50-yardline gets Jeff Brohm’s team off to a good start (Mike DeZarn photo).
The Cardinal Bird mascot arrives via parachute prior to the opening game (Mike DeZarn photo).
Share this

By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.