The Louisville Cardinals kick off the 2023 season inside Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium tonight as former Cards quarterback Jeff Brohm makes his debut as the head coach of his alma mater as they visit Georgia Tech. Brohm was hired by Louisville in December after spending six seasons as the head coach at Purdue where he posted a 36-34 record including a Big Ten West title in 2022. Rejoining Brohm is quarterback Jack Plummer who spent three seasons at Purdue before transferring to California in 2022. Plummer threw for 3,095 yards and 21 touchdowns in his lone season with the Golden Bears.
Georgia Tech’s 4-4 record under interim coach Brent Key earned him the permanent job. Key is a former offensive lineman for the Yellow Jackets who coached Nick Saban’s offensive line at Alabama before joining Geoff Collins at his alma mater. Texas A&M transfer Haynes King is the Georgia Tech quarterback. Buster Faulkner is the offensive coordinator. He spent the past three seasons as quality control assistant under coordinator Todd Monken at Georgia. Andrew Thacker is in his fifth season as Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator.
All eyes will be on Brohm. And for good reason. Louisville is a 7.5-point favorite.
FLORIDA FLUBS IT UP AT UTAH
Florida football 2023 began Friday night in Salt Lake City. Unfortunately for second-year head coach Billy Napier, the Gators looked much like 2022. Pre-snap penalties. Mental mistakes. Organizational errors. And a 24-point loss to the 14th-ranked Utes. Starting in place of the injured Cam Rising, Utah quarterback Bryson Barnes uncorked a 70-yard touchdown pass to Money Parks on the Utes’ first play. Down 7-3, the Gators committed a false start penalty on fourth-and-1 at the Utah 19, then missed a 31-yard field goal. Next possession, Florida had two players wearing No. 3 on the field at the same time during a Utah punt. That’s against the rules. (Another reason to eliminate duplicate numbers.) The penalty gave the Utes a first down and the home team scored for a 14-3 lead. New Florida quarterback Graham Mertz was 31 of 44 passing for 333 yards and a touchdown and an interception. He repeated many of the mistakes he made at Wisconsin. In his defense, Florida’s offensive line struggled against Utah’s defensive front. And Florida’s errors were those that keep coaches up at night before the opener.
Bottom line: Napier is 6-8 through 14 games as Gators coach. Florida plays Kentucky at Kroger Field on Sept. 30.
MISSOURI SORTING OUT ITS QUARTERBACKS
Missouri jumped to a 28-3 halftime lead and cruised to a 35-10 victory over South Dakota in Columbia on Friday. Brady Cook started at quarterback. The returnee was 17 of 21 through the air for 172 yards and a score in the first half . Highly touted freshman Sam Horn took over in the second half. He was 3 of 5 for 54 yards for a TD and a pick. “Brady played a more consistent half,” Drinkwitz admitted. “We’ll go back and evaluate the tape. I’m not going to make a rush judgment there on that decision. I do think Brady was very efficient. Sam had his moments as well.”
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