Petrino wants more big plays from Brohm, offense

Brian Brohm's two predecessors, Dave Ragone and Stefan LeFors, both won their first career starts at Louisville over Kentucky. Sunday afternoon, the former Kentucky Mr. Football continued the trend.

Brohm, a 6-4, 220-pound sophomore, came out the gates strong, leading U of L on 76 and 77 yard touchdown drives the first two times the Cardinals possessed the ball. At halftime, the Louisville offense appeared that it hadn't missed a beat with Brohm in command, racking up 28 points and 229 yards before the break. Brohm was also nearly perfect in the first half, completing 10-11 passes for 96 yards with no turnovers.

Heading into the locker room with a 28-7 lead on the road, things looked good for Brohm and the U of L offense.

"I was really happy with the way he started out," Petrino said of Brohm. "He was 10-11 at halftime and he was doing what we wanted him to do as far as executing the offense and getting the right reads. He did miss a couple protection calls in the first half that caused us not to move the ball one time."

But Brohm struggled after the break, completing just 9-16 passes while the U of L offense managed just one second half field goal.

"In the second half, he missed a couple throws that he usually doesn't miss," said Petrino. "But I thought he did a pretty good job for his first time up. We just have to get more big plays from him."

Brohm, though happy with the outcome, realized afterward that he and his teammates must make improvements before Oregon State comes to town in two weeks.

"It feels good to come out against Kentucky the first game and get a win. That's what it's all about," he said. "But we can get a lot better. I think we came out a little sluggish the second half and we need to learn how to pick that up and come out with more energy and fire no matter what the score is. We were up pretty handily there and maybe some guys didn't come out with as much energy as we did the first half."

Petrino said after the game that UK defensive coordinator Mike Archer made a few key adjustments at halftime, notably changing the downs and situations his team blitzed in the second half, that likely had an impact on Brohm's performance. He also admitted that he was relatively conservative with his play calling because he wanted to protect Brohm.

"(Archer) mixed it up a little bit. He was blitzing us on different downs in the second half than he did in the first half," Petrino explained. "And they played a lot more man coverage and dropped the safety down in the box. We probably should have opened it up and took some shots down the field. But we didn't do that because I was trying to take care of a young quarterback."

"They brought a few more blitzes than we thought they would," said Brohm. "We just didn't execute as well as we should have. I made a few errant throws – a few misreads here and there. We've just got to get better and more focused out there."

"I don't think we feel like we escaped with one," he added. "We earned that victory. But we feel like we've got to get better, especially in the second half getting ready to go."

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