QB Brian Brohm

2004 Statistics

Coach: Bobby Petrino
20-5, 2 years
2004 Record: 11-1
at Army WON 52-21
at North Carolina WON 34-0
at Miami FL LOST 38-41
at Memphis WON 56-49
TCU WON 55-28
at Houston WON 65-27
at Tulane WON 55-7
vs. Boise State WON 44-40

2004 Final Rankings
AP-6, Coaches-7, BCS-10

2005 Outlook

In two seasons, Petrino (no longer to be confused with other coaching BMOC Pitino) has taken the foundation established by John L. Smith and erected a fortress, and one with continuity, not just flask in the pan. Despite sniffing at the LSU job one week after agreeing to a contract revision, Petrino had little trouble selling Louisville to recruits following, especially now, following last year's memorable season. That sell was made much easier with this year's switch to the Big East, which will make it tougher to lock this team out of the BCS.

Still, despite that 11-1 record and unprecedented No. 6 national ranking (Cards fans will forever get to wonder 'what if?' when they think back to the 41-38 Miami loss), there's still work to be done and things to prove. If this program had put a bagel in the loss column, then Petrino wouldn't be looking elsewhere. The Cardinals' most impressive wins were against the likes of Boise State, Memphis and Kentucky. Though it's not a huge step up in competition, this team will have to carry its dominance over to a marginally tougher conference.

Ironically, a less impressive record could get the Cardinals into the BCS, as long as they win the Big East as expected. They'll have to get through a well-stocked Pittsburgh team at Papa John's Stadium. An improving UConn bunch and always dangerous (but revamping) West Virginia are tough road dates. These teams will no doubt go after that rebuilding secondary, which will need some pressure from the front seven and plenty of points from the offense to get them over any humps.

Expect the high-octane offense to ultimately overcome any defensive deficiencies, and for Louisville to be an instant force in a fading conference. That awaited BCS bowl should come, but lots of things would have to fall into place for a national title run. Still, after another top 10 ranking, don't be surprised to see Petrino further "endear" himself to the Louisville administration with another peak at some high-profile openings. This is all good news, for if success propels him out the door, many fans might just sacrifice the long term possibilities for that one year of championship bliss. Hmmm….would you?

Projected 2005 record: 9-2
QB - 4 DL - 3.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 4.5 DB - 2.5
OL - 4.5 ..

Passing: Brian Brohm, 98-66-2, 819 yds., 6 TD

Rushing: Michael Bush, 132 att., 734 yds., 7 TD

Receiving: Montrell Jones, 37 rec., 564 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Arthur Carmody, 12-15 FG, 77-77 PAT, 113 pts.

Punting: Brent Moody, 26 punts, 40.8 avg.

Kicking: Brent Moody, 26 punts, 40.8 avg.

Tackles: Brandon Johnson, 84 tot., 46 solo

Sacks: Elvis Dumervil, 10 sacks

Brandon Johnson, 2 for 49 yds.; Brent Johnson, 2 for 4 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Broderick Clark, 18 ret., 21.3 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Montrell Jones, 40 ret., 10.4 avg., 1 TD


RB Michael Bush


OFFENSE: Stefan LeFors-QB, J.R. Russell-WR, Adam McCauley-TE, Will Rabatin-C, Lionel Gates-RB, Tiger Jones-WR, Eric Shelton-RB (NFL)
DEFENSE: Marcus Jones-DE, Bobby Leffew-DT, Robert McCune-MLB, Antoine Harris-CB, J.T. Haskins-SS, Kerry Rhodes-FS, Brent Moody-P (transferred)

Hopes are sky high at this spot as highly-touted sophomore Brian Brohm takes over after a year of learning. Brohm, who ended up second to Tim Couch for almost every Kentucky high school passing record, has shown early flashes in relief roles. He's a gutsy guy with the confidence to be the leader needed on an offense that will have to break in some new faces at skill positions. He has a big, accurate arm, even if he's not quite as mobile as departed starter Stefan LeFors. Having a strong line and a fast receiving corps will make his transition to the starting role rather seamless for the offensive flow already there. Backing up Brohm will be true freshman Lee Sweeney, who threw for 5,173 yards at prep. Sweeney is a tall, strong-armed QB like Brohm, and is more of a threat with his feet. But, given that this complex offense is built around exploiting defenses' weaknesses with multiple formations and personnel changes, it's hard to imagine production not dropping off with the inexperienced Sweeney under center. Then again, his mobility could be needed as the change of pace foes don't expect if/when they start to anticipate Brohm. The QB unit is a strength, regardless.

Running Back
What was a triple-threat backfield now becomes a single spearhead with converted QB Michael Bush returning. Bush is a splendid combination of power and speed who will blossom into a star. In I-A ball, it seems like guys named Bush can do it all, including beat you out of the backfield with soft hands, as Michael can. His biggest adjustment will be the increased work load; Bush has yet to carry the ball more than 18 times in a game. Backups Kolby Smith and Reggie Bradshaw (the team's fastest player with a 4.42 40) are fast and versatile and will see plenty of reps, especially early in the season as Bush adjusts. Smith, the team's best blocking back despite his lack of size, is the fullback when this wide-open attack decides to use one.

There's speed all over the place here, more than enough for this offense to spread defenses as a set up for big plays. The three burners with starting experience who are back will give Brohm possibly the best group of targets in the Big East. Tennessee-transfer Montrell Jones (15.2 yards per catch) and kick return specialist Broderick Clark (16.3) are the deep threats, while basketball player Joshua Tinch is a sure-handed guy who will get his share of catches in intermediate routes. The nation's No. 9 pass offense won't skip a beat.

Tight End
The production that is expected out of this position should increase somewhat. Then-senior Adam McCauley was more of a tourniquet here after being moved from fullback to tight end just before the start of last season. True-TE Gary Barnidge got some valuable experience in reserve as a true freshman and should take over the spot this fall. At 6-6, the former three-sport athlete is huge target underneath, though he could stand to pack a few more pounds onto that frame. This area is a development that is key to the offensive scheme the Cards use. Watch this area to see how the entire offense is doing.

Offensive Line
The best line in Conference USA returns almost intact to test its ability against newly aligned Big East beasts. Even against better competition, this experienced group will shine for the third straight year in both pass protection (only 20 sacks allowed) and run blocking (run game finished eighth, nationally). Brohm's blindside couldn't be in much better hands with NC.net second-team all-American Travis Leffew back at tackle alongside guard Jason Spitz. Leffew didn't allow a sack in '03 and graded out at 90 percent or better in nine of his first 11 games last year, while Spitz was easily the best run-blocker in CUSA. The only hole to fill is in the middle, where redshirt junior Michael Sturgeon will get first crack. If he falters, expect Spitz to move to center and one of several members of this deep group to step in at left guard. If you saw these guys handle the Miami Hurricanes last year, you know what levels they can attain and how effective they will be for all 60 minutes.

This might not be the nation's top total and scoring offense again, but it will be close enough to guarantee yard-gaining consistency as well as enough points for the defense to then win any game. Brohm will mature into a leader, and he now has all the tools of a Chris Redman, Dave Ragone or LeFors, plus a year working with the offense. The receivers will produce, and decent targets at tight end and out of the backfield will only make it tougher to stop the pass. And the run will be just as tough to contain with a potential superstar in Bush and one of the best lines the school has ever produced opening the holes. At this point, there's no superstar leading this offense, which is fine. The individual pieces add up to a much more impressive whole as a team.


OT Travis Leffew


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Brian Brohm-So (6-4, 224) Davis Manning-Fr (6-5, 225)
RB Michael Bush-Jr (6-3, 250) Kolby Smith-Jr (5-11, 215)
Deriontae Taylor-Jr (5-8, 232) (FB)
WR Joshua Tinch-Sr (6-3, 223) Jimmy Riley-Jr (6-1, 212)
WR Montrell Jones-Sr (6-0, 199) Mario Urruttia-Fr (6-6, 220)
WR Broderick Clark-Sr (6-0, 185) Harry Douglas-So (5-11, 170)
TE Gary Barnidge-So (6-6, 230) Scott Kuhn-So (6-5, 255_
OT Travis Leffew-Sr (6-4, 301) Breno Giacomini-Fr (6-7, 280)
OG Marcus Gordon-Jr (6-6, 320) Eric Wood-Fr (6-4, 290)
C Jason Spitz-Sr (6-4, 308) ..
OG Kurt Quarterman-Jr (6-5, 348) Danny Barlowe-So (6-5, 290)
OT Jeremy Darveau-Sr (6-7, 321) Michael Sturgeon-Jr (6-3, 303)
K Arthur Carmody-So (5-8, 181) Rob Zarrilli-So (5-10, 180)



Defensive Line
Even with some retooling here, this group will again be a big key to another tough run-defense, especially with DE Elvis Dumervil back. Dumervil - who won the job in the fall then went on to achieve 10 sacks and 11.5 TFLs - will have to be the leader up front to start. Having big Montavious Stanley in the middle will again be a plugger. Potential-laden DT Amobi Okoye, the youngest player in college ball two years ago, has seen plenty of time the past two seasons and is ready to shine. Athletic senior DE Chad Rimpsey, who proved his worth in reserve, will be a capable starting complement to Dumervil. Developed depth, though, is lacking, but that should come along after a few games of rotating linemen. This group might not be as dominant as last year, but it won't be far off.

A surprise last year after bulking up and moving from safety to strong-side backer, Abe Brown will now be counted on to lead a group that lost its heart in leading tackler Robert "Hitman" McCune. With the line possibly dropping off a little, this group has to, and will be tougher for this team to continue plugging the run. Brown has the speed (4.55), power and nose for the ball to take over McCune's spot in the middle. Playmaker Brandon Johnson put on a few pounds and will continue to excel at the weak-side position. Willie Johnson, Malik Jackson, Preston Smith and Matt Sanders will all battle it out for the other spot, and don't be surprised if Deriontae Taylor is moved back from fullback to join in the fray. These guys are all fast and excellent in pass coverage, though some size deficiencies could make them vulnerable to power ground games if the line doesn't force some double-teams.

Defensive Back
Gutted by six graduations from the nation's 30th-ranked pass defense, this unit is the biggest area of concern for this entire team entering the spring. Someone has to step up and be a playmaker. The leader should be top cover corner William Gay, though the best athlete is former Florida Gator receiver Antoine Sharpe, who could be moved to strong safety. Antoine's younger brother, Brandon, is a big-hitter who will take over at free safety, and redshirt freshman Rod Council, a three-star recruit out of West Charlotte, N.C., should play the other corner. Development is the key here. This group will be tested early and often, especially if the run defense remains strong. If these guys don't gel quickly, we could end up seeing final tallies that look like prep roundball scores.

Often lost in the impressive shadow of the offense during last year's 11-1 season, the defense ranked 15th best in all of I-A. That's a tall order with lack of depth on the line, a hole at LB, and a rebuilt, untested secondary that will be prone to the big play. Keeping the ball in front of them will be key to getting up to speed, so to speak (for they are all burners back there). Fortunately, the offense will keep the defense rested during games while testing/acclimating it daily in practice. No way is this side of the ball dominant (yet), but it will be solid by midseason and will limit teams enough to keep the Cards competitive from the start.


DE Elvis Dumervil


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Brandon Cox-So (6-4, 255) Chad Rimpsey-Sr (6-3, 250)
DT Amobi Okoye-Jr (6-1, 317) Adrian Grady-Fr (6-2, 291)
DT Montavious Stanley-Sr (6-2, 321) Brinson Harley-Jr (6-1, 298)
DE Elvis Dumervil-Sr (6-0, 256) Maurice Mitchell-Fr (6-3, 267)
SLB Abe Brown-Jr (6-4, 230) Malik Jackson-So (6-2, 230)
MLB Matt Sanders-So (6-2, 242) Johnnie Burns-Fr (6-3, 225)
WLB Brandon Johnson-Sr (6-5, 218) Lamar Myles-Fr (6-0, 214)
CB Rod Council-Fr (5-11, 185) Deon Palmer-Fr (5-10, 200)
CB William Gay-Jr (5-11, 182) Marcus Folmar-Fr (5-11, 175)
SS Antoine Sharp-Jr (6-1, 196) Terrance Butler-So (6-3, 217)
FS Brandon Sharp-Jr (5-11, 190) Jonathan Russell-So (5-10, 194)
P Todd Flannery-So (6-0, 170) ..




It's always nice to have a strong-legged kicker who's money in the bank, so no worries here. Sophomore Arthur Carmody lived up to his hype as a freshman, connecting on all 77 extra points and 80 percent of his field goals (though two were blocked). A year older and wiser will pay dividends.

Here's an area that should improve, as junior Brent Moody upped his average from 39.6 to 40.8. But net punting still ranked a dismal 100th in Division I-A. Given the speed Petrino continues to recruit, and given another year of growth for Moody, this aspect figures to be better, though it will still be average at best.

Return Game
This is another area where the abundance of speed will guarantee success. The speedy Clark will be back on kickoffs for the fourth season and should once again help set up good field position. Jones is always capable of busting loose on punts, too.