Brohm ready for Cards to lose skid against UK

Published 5:00 am Saturday, August 5, 2023


Kentucky Today

Jeff Brohm didn’t get a chance to play against arch-rival Kentucky when he was quarterbacking the Cardinals because the modern series didn’t start until 1994, the year after he graduated. But as UofL’s new coach, he will have an opportunity to make his mark on the series, beginning this season.

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And, even though the matchup is four months away, he’s not hesitant to reveal that he’s already thinking and planning about the showdown and how the Cards can snap a four-game lossing streak to the Wildcats.

“There’s a lot of emphasis,” Brohm said at the ACC Kickoff Tuesday. “I’m not gonna lie. I mean, rivalry games are great for a lot of reasons. But you know, your fan base and the excitement that builds, the momentum you get can be drastic. Kentucky’s had our number and it’s important that we find a way to be competitive and find a way to win the football game.

“We have it at home. And at that time the year, this season could be going the way you want or you could hit a couple of roadblocks. You’ve got to be able to adapt.”

To say that UK has had UofL’s number is putting it mildly. The Cats have not only won four in a row, but in doing so they have outscored the Cards by a whopping 153-44 in three of them. Louisville was more competitive in the most recent loss, 26-13 last year.

Although he has never faced UK, Brohm is no stranger to rivalry games. His previous job before being hired at UofL was at Purdue, and the Boilermakers and in-state rival Indiana have had an ongoing feud for well over a century, having played 118 games since 1891.

Against UK, Brohm would probably settle for the success he had against the Hoosiers in his five seasons in West Lafayette, Ind. When Brohm arrived the Boilers had lost four straight, but his first team in 2017 ended that skid with a 31-24 victory and he went on to win four of the five Old Oaken Bucket meetings. The only defeat was in double-overtime, 44-41 in 2019.

“Fortunately, when I was at Purdue we played Indiana the last game every year and we found a way to win most of those games,” Brohm said. “And it’s just always important to do that. It gives you a great feeling that you’ve accomplished something that’s a goal that everybody has in the preseason and beat your rival. And definitely since (UK) has had the upper hand recently, this is going to be a great challenge and yes, we’ve put in preparation already.

Jack Plummer, who is projected as UofL’s starting quarterback this season, is also familiar with rivalries, having played against Indiana in three years under Brohm at Purdue. And after transferring to California for last season, he also got a taste of the Stanford-Cal rivalry. After only a few months on the Louisville campus, Plummer said he’s already been made aware of the importance of the UK game.

“I’ve gotten a little bit of it, just walking around and people are like, ‘Hey man, you got to beat Kentucky,’” he said during a recent appearance on Drew Deener’s radio show.

This year’s Governor’s Cup battle will be played on Nov. 25 in L&N Stadium.