Brohm's first start a 'big-time situation'

Louisville sophomore quarterback Brian Brohm will make the first start of his college career this Sunday against rival Kentucky and he's well aware of the importance of the game.

Brian Brohm waited patiently last season for this moment.

Though, the former USA Today High School Player of the Year played in 11 of Louisville's 12 games last season as a true freshman, the 6-2, 220-pound Brohm will make his first start for the Cardinals against rival Kentucky this Sunday.

Brohm last started a game at Trinity High School for the 2003 Kentucky state title. His team won that game.

He's hoping his first start as a college quarterback produces a similar result as did his last.

"This is a big-time situation," Brohm said of the annual battle for state bragging rights. "It's a big rivalry and I've attended this game the last five years. I know what it's about and what it's going to be like."

Though Brohm will make his first start this weekend, he's no stranger to the Wildcats. UK coach Rich Brooks pulled out all the stops trying to recruit Brohm to Lexington two years ago. Last year, in his college debut, Brohm led Louisville to their first score against the Wildcats to give U of L a 7-0 first half lead.

"This is one of the games I looked forward to when I committed here," explained Brohm, who completed 6-7 passes for 39 yards against UK last season. "I've always loved Louisville, and I watched this rivalry and cheered for the [Cardinals]."

Brohm also understands exactly what will be at stake this weekend when the two rivals meet in Lexington.

I know how big this game is to the fans, so I'm real excited to be playing in this game," he said. "I think this is the most important game to the fans and for us right now. I know beating Kentucky is something that is very important to our fans for the bragging rights."


Brohm gained valuable experience last
year as true freshman.

Brohm also admits that he's got some nervous energy heading into Sunday's big game.

"The butterflies are already starting," Brohm admitted Monday during the U of L's pre-game press conference. "But we're all real excited to prepare this week for Kentucky and can't wait for the game to come."

One thing that should help Brohm quickly overcome the butterflies, though, is the experience he gained last season while playing – and learning - behind current Carolina Panther quarterback Stefan LeFors.

As a freshman, Brohm, the 2004 Conference USA Freshman of the Year, completed 66-98 passes (67.3-percent) for six touchdowns with just two interceptions. He also proved against national-power Miami in the Orange Bowl that he can deliver in the toughest situations.

"I had a good year last year where I got experience and got used to [college defenses]," said Brohm. "This year I think I'm ready to go. I know the defenses and I have our offense pretty much down pat. Like always, I'm just going to stay calm, cool and collected."

"He's been there and he's been in when the game was on the line," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. "He was the guy last year that drove us down for our first touchdown in the Kentucky game. We want to make sure that he's relaxed and feels comfortable."

Don't expect Brohm to take the field with a conservative ‘try not to lose' attitude, either. He's going out there Sunday to make big plays and bring the Governor's Cup trophy back to Louisville for the third year in a row.

"They don't have as much pressure on them," Brohm said of Kentucky. "We've got to go out there and play loose. We can't play not to lose, that's one thing you can never do. We've got to go out there and play to win, and not hold anything back. We're going to go out and play all our cards and do everything that we can do [to win]."

And Brohm will have plenty of help against Kentucky from a talented supporting cast of offensive weapons.

"I think this offense is going to be very good this season," Brohm said. "I'm real excited about our offense. We've got a lot of weapons, a lot of speed and our offensive line is one of the best in the nation. I think it will be an exciting offense to watch."

Despite all the pre-season hype and the excitement about making his first career start this weekend, Brohm's attention is squarely directed at one simple object.

"Our entire focus right now is on Kentucky," Brohm said.


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