Louisville opened the 2023 season in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA with a win to start the Jeff Brohm era for the Cards. The first quarter for the Cards saw UofL missed a few big opportunities and settle for field goals instead of Touchdowns. But Louisville still lead 6-0 after 15 minutes of play.
The 2nd quarter however, was a disaster for the Cards and almost soured the entire opening stanza for Jeff Brohm and the 2023 Cardinals. Louisville allowed 28 points in the 2nd quarter defensively with a lot of gap assignments missed, bad pursuit angles and a puzzling lack of execution. To make matters worse, Cardinal signal-caller Jack Plummer was ‘off’ on seemingly simple throws to receivers. The 2nd quarter was an all-systems-failure for UofL and Georgia Tech led the Cards 28-13 at half.
Luckily after an impassioned halftime speech that Jeff Broh, Jack Plummer, Dez Tell and Jamari Thrash all explained motivated the entire team, Louisville looked much more polished in the 3rd quarter. Jack Plummer looked more relaxed and took the extra moment to make the play. And defensively Louisville shut down Georgia Tech.
The sequence of the game came after Louisville regained the lead with Jamari Thrash’s 2nd TD of the night, Georgia Tech was driving while trailing 29-28 deep into the 4th quarter with 1st & 10 from the 16 yard line. Defensive lineman Dez Tell crashed down on GT QB Haynes King and popped the ball loose, linebacker Kam Wilson jumped on the ball to gain possession. The next play Jawhar Jordan took the ball 74-yards for a TD to push the lead to 36-28. The Cards would tack on a FG, GT would score a TD with the Cards in prevent and UofL ultimately won 39-34.
This was exactly the type of game Louisville needed to start the season. It’s an ACC win. It’s a win period. And it’s a win to start the Jeff Brohm era. It’s also a comeback win for a team with a lot of new faces. All that and Louisville got exactly what they needed to early in the 2023 season to try to mount up a special season. It wasn’t perfect or clean… but the Cards grinded away a comeback win. In doing so they gained the trust of each other and they’ll head home Thursday night to play Murray State in the home-opener.
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