QB Brian Brohm

2005 Statistics

Coach: Bobby Petrino
29-8, 3 years
2005 Record: 9-3
at Kentucky WON 31-24
at South Florida LOST 14-45
at West Virginia LOST 44-46 (3OT)
at Cincinnati WON 46-22
at Connecticut WON 30-20
vs. Virginia Tech LOST 24-35

2005 Final Rankings
AP-19, Coaches-20, BCS-19

2006 Outlook

The annual “will Bobby Petrino leave” drama has played itself out for another season. Despite continued uncertainty about how long he will stay at Louisville, Petrino continues to attract the type of talent needed to be successful in the Big East and on the national scene as well. Moreover, Petrino seems to be one of those coaching magicians who is capable of getting the most out of players who may not seem outstanding. The results are a superior team approach that, when “on”, can catapult UL to the highest of college football echelons. Most thought they would leave the rest of their new conference in the dust with so much momentum coming in from ’04, but C-USA seemingly wasn’t the same level of competition. Petrino now knows what is needed.

The Cardinals are a fun team to watch and are generating a lot of enthusiasm about college football in a basketball hotbed. This is a program on the cusp of something big, firmly planted in the second tier of teams just short of BCS bowl level. They won’t slip from that perch this year, but they won’t advance beyond it either. Louisville will contend with West Virginia for the Big East championship, in part due to a very favorable schedule. But with USF almost making the “elite eight”, this wide open conference will again surprise. In other words, Louisville again has no lock on anything. Having to reform both lines, the Cardinal caught a huge break with their schedule difficulty being back-loaded. The only difficult game they have prior to November is a visit from Miami. By the time they reach their first difficult conference matchup, a Thursday night visit by West Virginia on November 2, both lines should have come together and Louisville should be hitting on all cylinders. They should be in position to duplicate their 9-3 record of last season, perhaps even move to 10-2 if everything falls in place, and receive another high-level bowl bid.

Projected 2006 record: 10-2
QB - 5 DL - 2
RB - 5 LB - 3.5
WR - 3 DB - 3.5
OL - 2.5 ..

Passing: Brian Brohm, 301-207-5, 2883 yds., 19 TD

Rushing: Michael Bush, 205 att., 1143 yds., 23 TD

Receiving: Mario Urrutia, 37 rec., 797 yds., 7 TD

Scoring: Michael Bush, 24 TD, 144 pts.

Punting: Todd Flannery, 34 punts, 40.9 avg.

Kicking: Arthur Carmody, 14-16 FG, 63-65 PAT, 105 pts.

Tackles: Nate Harris, 66 tot., 37 solo

Sacks: Nate Harris, 7 sacks

Jon Russell, 2 for 32 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Harry Douglas, 7 ret., 20.3 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Elijah Daniel, 2 ret., 5.0 avg., 0 TD


K Arthur Carmody


OFFENSE: Montrell Jones-WR, Joshua Tinch-WR, Travis Leffew-OT, Jason Spitz-OG, Jeremy Darveau-OT
DEFENSE: Chad Rimpsey-DE, Montavious Stanley-DT, Elvis Dumervil-DE, Brandon Johnson-WLB, Antoine Sharp-SS

The Cardinals are led by one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, the 2005 Big East Offensive Player of the Year, junior Brian Brohm. He suffered a torn ACL in the next-to-last regular season game but is expected to be ready for preseason camp in August. Brohm was second in the nation in passing efficiency, completing 68.8% of his passes and throwing only five interceptions vs. 19 touchdowns. Standing 6’4”, 224 pounds, he is a perfect pocket fit for coach Bobby Petrino’s pro-style offense. He delivers the ball quickly and makes good decisions. If he is not back at full speed for the start of the season, sophomore Hunter Cantwell is more than an adequate replacement. The last time we saw Cantwell, he was getting the snot (and blood) literally knocked out of him by Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl. He showed toughness and courage beyond what you would expect most freshmen to have. With the opportunity to run the first team offense in the spring, Cantwell should we bell prepared to contribute if needed.

Running Back
There is a RB named Bush returning to college football this season who will again put up outrageous numbers, but it’s not Reggie. Michael Bush decided to return to Louisville for his senior campaign and will light up the scoreboard for the Cardinals once more. Reggie may have won the Heisman, but Michael put up some amazing numbers of his own. He led the nation in points per game with 14.40, scoring 24 touchdowns in only 10 games. His 12 yards per reception on 21 catches are a respectable number for a running back. Most of all, Bush is 6’3” 250 pounds and has outstanding speed, enabling him to go through or around defenders. Opposing defenses and NFL offenses will be sorry he stayed in school. Sophomore George Stripling and senior George Smith will also get some substantial carries without allowing for much drop off in production. Stripling averaged 7.9 yards per carry and combined with Smith to gain 1,144 yards and score 13 touchdowns. Senior Deriontae Taylor, a converted linebacker, will return at fullback and concentrate on clearing room for the other runners.

Louisville loses their top two wide receivers, but sophomore Mario Urrutia and junior Harry Douglas are ready to take on bigger roles. Urrutia is a deep threat despite not having blazing speed. He averaged 21.5 yards per catch (most for any WR in the nation with more than 35 total grabs) and scored seven touchdowns. His 6’6” 220 pound frame makes him very difficult to handle one-on-one in the red zone. Douglas is no slouch, averaging 16.9 yards. Urrutia and Douglas are the only two receivers who had as many as 10 catches last season, so the Cardinals will need at least one of the younger players to step up in camp and show they are ready to fill role in three and four-wideout packages. Red shirted sophomore Elijah Daniel has the inside track, but the other WR spots are not even close to being decided.

Offensive Line
Louisville’s offensive line, a powerhouse in 2005, will have several holes to fill. Only two starters return, center Eric Wood and guard Kurt Quarterman. Wood was a pleasant surprise last year as a redshirt freshman, winning the job in summer camp and allowing Jason Spitz to mover over to guard (where he won all-Big East honors). He’s got quick footwork to go with modest size and should be a strong anchor. Quarterman, a mountain at 6’5”, 341 pounds, actually appeared in the Cardinals’ backfield and scored a touchdown on a one-yard run, so imagine how much they trust his foot speed. His presence will make it difficult to pressure Brohm coming up the middle, and he is agile enough to be an effective pulling guard on runs. After these two, it gets dicey for Louisville. Senior Renardo Foster is in line for the right tackle spot, but the left side of the line will have very little game experience regardless. Marcel Benson is ready for full time work, and this former-CC all-American should help immensely. This will bear watching since they will need to protect quarterback Brohm’s blind side. More information to come after spring ball.

Tight End
Junior Gary Barnidge enters his second year as starting tight end. Louisville doesn’t throw to their tight ends much, but Barnidge did catch 17 passes for 240 yards last year. He is 6’6” 230 pounds and has developed into a solid blocker. Junior Scott Kuhn will see action as an extra blocker in two tight end sets.

Louisville finished third in the nation in scoring last season (43.4 points per game) and ninth in total offense (482 yards per game). Those numbers were inflated somewhat by two outbursts (61 points vs. Florida Atlantic, 69 vs. North Carolina) but are still very impressive. This offense struggled against the better Ds it faced, and the sour taste of Virginia Tech holding them to 24 points has to be washed away before this Redbird squad can be considered solidly back as one of the nation’s most feared teams. They will slip a bit this season, especially if quarterback Brian Brohm is slow recovering from his ACL injury. The Cardinals’ talent at the skill positions rivals any team in the nation, at least for the first string, but the inexperience in the offensive line could again be a hindrance. Players like a healthy Brohm and running back Michael Bush are good enough to make plays even without a lot of time in the pocket or very big holes to run through, respectively, but it will be more of a struggle until such time as the line comes together. When that happens, the Louisville offense will again be explosive.


RB Michael Bush


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Brian Brohm-Jr (6-4, 224) Hunter Cantwell-So (6-4, 223)
FB Deriontae Taylor-Sr (5-8, 244) Joe Tronzo-Fr (5-10, 245)
RB Michael Bush-Sr (6-3, 250) Kolby Smith-Sr (5-11, 215)
George Stripling-So (6-0, 190)
WR Mario Urrutia-So (6-6, 228) Scott Long-Fr (6-2, 210)
WR Harry Douglas-Jr (5-11, 170) Chris Vaughn-So (6-3, 220)
WR Jimmy Riley-Sr (6-1, 212) Patrick Carter-Jr (6-3, 215)
TE Gary Barnidge-Jr (6-6, 236) Scott Kuhn-Jr (6-5, 251)
OT Marcel Benson-Jr (6-6, 318) Breno Giacomini-Jr (6-7, 290)
OG Danny Barlowe-Jr (6-5, 290) George Bussey-So (6-4, 280)
C Eric Wood-So (6-4, 296) Michael Sturgeon-Sr (6-4, 298)
OG Kurt Quarterman-Sr (6-5, 336) Devon May-Jr (6-4, 292)
OT Renardo Foster-Sr (6-7, 322) Marcus Gordon-Jr (6-6, 317)
K Arthur Carmody-Jr (5-8, 181) Todd Flannery-Jr (6-0, 170)



Defensive Line
The Cardinals have to replace three starters, and senior Amobi Okoye is the veteran of this unit despite being only 19 years old. He tested into the 9th grade as a12 year old when his family moved from Nigeria, so his upside is just being realized in many ways. His physical stature 6’1”, 317 pounds, belies his youth. His contributions don’t show up in his modest numbers (23 tackles) because the role of interior linemen in the Louisville defense is primarily that of space eater. Okoye does this well, freeing up the linebackers to make plays as he occupies two hats on most plays, or else. Sophomores Adrian Grady and Earl Heyman will compete for the other tackle spot. Heyman, only 244 pounds, is better suited to play end, for his quickness is more of an asset than his strength. Both have proven their worth along the line, so either/both is/are a strength. Senior Zach Anderson, a former junior college star, is ready to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks from one end position. Junior Brandon Cox could man the other end position. He hasn’t earned much playing time so far in his career, but he is a very fluid athlete who seems to have excellent physical tools. The line won’t be nearly as good last year (Dumervil), and the rushing defense was 21st in the nation, but it has potential to be solid.

Middle linebacker Nate Harris, the leading returning tackler, will be the leader of Louisville’s linebacking corps. Harris was second on the team behind Dumervil with 11.5 tackles for loss and 7 sacks. Another junior college transfer, Harris will be ready to step into a bigger playmaking role this season. Junior Preston Smith will inherit the weak-side linebacker position. He needs to add to his 219 pound frame, but he has the speed to cover ground. Senior Abe Brown and junior Malik Jackson will compete for the strong-side spot. Brown, hindered last year by a sprained MCL, should hold onto the starting role. He is strong in both pass coverage and stopping the run. Sophomore Lamar Myles, a special teams force from last season, is a strong run stopper who will also see action. This is a good (not great) group that will suffer if the line is unable to continue bottling up offensive linemen.

Defensive Back
The Cardinals’ secondary was nothing to brag about last season, but should be this year. In 2005, Louisville had to break in three new starters, but now the entire starting unit is back. Senior William Gay is the best cover man of the group. He was bothered by injuries last season but will become Louisville’s lockdown corner. On the other side, sophomore Rod Council will give the secondary good balance. Council was second on the team with 40 solo tackles and will continue to see more traffic come his way as foes work away from Gay. Senior Brandon Sharp will return at free safety and junior John Russell will be the strong safety. Both players have a good nose for the ball, but they are both small for safeties, a problem when providing run support. The primary backups, junior Bobby Buchanan and senior Garin Smart, give the Cardinals one of the most experienced secondaries in the nation. Experience for a group that ranked 46th in pass defense has to equal a better result for UL to progress, a stat that should reveal much as the season plays out.

In 2005, the Louisville defense held fast at the line of scrimmage but was susceptible to big plays. That trend could flip-flop this season. The DL put solid pressure on quarterbacks and slowed down opponents’ running games, but they won’t be as effective doing that this season sans Dumervil. The linebacking corps is a good one, but they will be asked to make more plays. They will make some, but the Cardinals will be easier to run against, period. If the line can muster any kind of pass rush, and they should, the secondary will be markedly better. They have an outstanding pair of cornerbacks, and the safeties are also very strong in pass coverage. Still, they’ll continue to struggle in run support, further weakening the entire defensive scheme. Louisville was able to control the tempo of games last year in part because the defense did not give up a lot of long, time-consuming drives. That will be different this year and poses a further challenge for the offense.


LB Nate Harris


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Zach Anderson-Sr (6-4, 268) Maurice Mitchell-So (6-3, 277)
DT Adrian Grady-So (6-2, 292) Willie Williams-Jr (6-4, 310)
DT Amobi Okoye-Sr (6-1, 312) Earl Heyman-So (6-3, 282)
DE Brandon Cox-Jr (6-4, 253) Jonathan Holston-Fr (6-6, 239)
SLB Malik Jackson-Jr (6-2, 231) Terrance Butler-Jr (6-3, 222)
MLB Nate Harris-Sr (6-1, 236) Lamar Myles-So (6-0, 216)
WLB Abe Brown-Sr (6-4, 230) Preston Smith-Jr (6-1, 220)
CB Rod Council-So (5-11, 189) Gavin Smart-Sr (5-9, 192)
CB William Gay-Sr (5-11, 184) Bobby Buchanan-So (5-11, 188)
SS Jon Russell-Jr (5-10, 194) Deon Palmer-Fr (5-109, 200)
FS Brandon Sharp-Sr (5-11, 195) Richard Raglin-So (6-2, 185)
P Todd Flannery-Jr (6-0, 170) Gabe Mullane-Fr (6-1, 171)




Efficiency is a constant theme when Louisville has the ball, and that extends to their placekicker, Art Carmody. The junior returns with career numbers of 6-for-6 beyond 40 yards. He holds the NCAA single-season record for consecutive PAT’s with 77. Todd Flannery handles the kickoffs but only had seven touchbacks in 63 kicks. The Cardinals need a lot better percentage than that. The Cardinals were 84th in the nation in kickoff coverage, another field position concern.

Junior Todd Flannery will enter his second year as the Cardinals punter. It’s hardly a full-time job with this team, and Flannery did not kick often enough (34 times in 12 games) to qualify for the official NCAA stats. He had a solid 40.9 average and only 14 of his punts were returnable, an excellent ratio. Net results show a need to step up coverage, and field position battles will mean much with an iffy defensive front seven.

Return Game
Seniors Harry Douglas and Sergio Spencer will compete for the kickoff return job following the departure of Montrell Jones. Both had some good returns last season in limited opportunities. Spencer even ran one back 61 yards. The punt return job is wide open since Jones handled that also. Louisville will need to improve their kick coverage.