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The Louisville Cardinals
Bird’s Tame Cats Lose Bush

by George Williams

Michael Bush Brian Brohm The Louisville Cardinals football team began the ’06-07 season full of high expectations. Ranked as high as 13th in many of the national polls and boasting two Heisman trophy candidates, this years Cardinals seem ready to fly. The dynamite duo of Brohm and Bush, quarterback Brian Brohm and tailback Michael Bush, give Louisville one of the most potent offenses in the Nation. On September 3rd the L signal was sent up over the ‘Ville’, the Big Blue Nation were invading Papa John Stadium from the east, and the hometown super heroes were ready to answer the call. Last year Michael Bush was first team All Big East, setting a school record for rushing touchdowns (23) and points (144). He finished first in the Big East in rushing and all-purpose yardages and led the nation in scoring with an average of 14.4ppg. His pre-season honors include; Heisman Trophy Candidate, Doak Walker Candidate and pre-season first Team All-American by CBS Here is what Coach Bobby Petrino is saying about his star running back, “He’s as good a playmaker as I’ve ever been around in my experience as a head coach. Just the things that he does and being able to make the catches he’s made; he’s a tremendous athlete.” Here is what the other half of the Dynamite Duo Brian Brohm has to say about his outstanding teammate, “Mike’s a tremendous athlete. I love watching him play. To move like him at his sizes is incredible. I am glad he plays on our team. He’s always been a great player and I look for him to have a huge season.”

The second half of the Dynamite Duo Brian Brohm is a 2006 Hesiman Trophy and Davey O’Brian candidate and was added to the Maxwell Award List. Brohm was the nation’s second -rated passer in 2005. He has five 300-yard passing games and is the school’s most accurate passer at 64.4 percent. Brohm was named last season’s Big East Offensive Player of the year, earned first team All Big East, tossed 19 touchdowns, which was the eighth best mark last season.

Here is what Coach Bobby Petrino is saying about Brohm: “He’s a proven leader. He has all the qualities you want in a quarterback. Now, we just have to build everything around what he does best, he can make all the throws a quarterback needs to make and he has become one of the most accurate passers in the nation.” Mr. Bush’s views on Brian is performance, “He came right in and led our team. I mean, it was like there was no, pressure on him at all. He’s always really poised and keeps us in the game. He’s the most accurate passer I’ve ever seen. I don’t think anybody on our team had any doubt that he could lead us. I know I didn’t.”

Brohm must fly alone:

Bush one-half of Louisville Superhero Tandem began defending the Ville’s home turf on the first series of the game Louisville called a draw play and 48 yards later Bush took it to the house. Bush got two more opportunities to score touchdowns in the first half on a 5 yard run and 4 yard run. Bush was running through Wildcats as if he would break all the school rushing records and then it happened. The only thing that could stop him would be season ending injury. Bush had rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns. With 11:26 left in the third quarter, the crowd of 42,597 fell hush as Bush was removed from the field at Papa John Stadium. Michael Bush Sr. saw his son down on the 11yard line and not getting up he said. “My son always gets up, always. As a parent it hurts you deep inside to see your son get hurt like that,” Bush said. “ You get teary- eyed it hurts me and my wife (Toni) so bad. But I know my son. He’ll be back. He’s strong. I don’t know where he get it, but he’s stronger than the rest of us.”

The diagnosis of Bush is he had broken two bones in his lower right leg. Bush was taken to Jewish hospital where at 8 a.m. doctors performed a one-hour operation that repaired his broken fibula and put a titanium rod in his tibia, below the knee near the ankle.

It has been reported that the Bush family insured Michael with a 2 million dollar injury protection policy from Lloyds of London to cover career-ending injuries.

It has been said that out of everything bad, there is some good and as important as this game was to both Kentucky and Louisville fans, I will never forget how Keenan Burton who is Kentucky’s outstanding receiver came to his friend side and stayed there until Bush was carried away. Burton was visibly upset about his childhood friend getting injured. “It was about more than who would win the game; my friend was down and he needed me,” Burton said. You could see what Michael meant to him. For just that one moment you got to see that friendships are more important than the colors of the university or the fans. It was after all, just a game.

As one hometown hero went down, the other stepped up his game for the pride of the Ville and number 13 ranking. The Cats coaching staff and fans knew if there was a time for Louisville to be vulnerable it would be now. In the back of the Wildcats mind they must have remembered that they had lost to the cards 4 years in a row and seven of the last eight times they have played.

But on this night it was not to be. Not on Brohm’s watch. When Michael went down, the Cardinals had run for 195 yards. After the injury, the Cards would rush for 168 yards and score three more times behind the tandem of George Stripling, Kolby Smith and true freshman Anthony Allen. It was the leadership of junior quarterback Brian Brohm that held the team together. Brohm looked like a masterful surgeon operating and the Wildcats were his patient. Brohm was coming back from a season ending injury last year. He threw a touchdown early in the second quarter to his full back Brock Bolen. On this night Brohm would complete 19 for 31, for 254 yards. Uof L ran for 363 yards and the Cards would score on five of there first six possessions rushing to a 31-0 advantage with 4:13left in the first half.

The Cardinals gained a total of 631 yards while scoring the most points ever in the Governor’s Cup series.

Brian Brohm
“Brian did great” Petrino said. “When he stood in there and threw a post route to Urrutia and got hit right in the chest and held the ball until the last possible moment, I just knew that Brian was back.”

Brohm would sit out the last eight minutes. Coach Petrino replaced him with Cantwell who led the Card to one more scoring drive. Freshman running back Allen would run for 39 yards on the drive including a 4-yard touchdown. He’s a guy who is big and physical,”Petrino said of Allen. “He’s really an amazing athlete.” Brian Brohm

The Big Blue Nation would be held to a lopsided 22 yards on the ground. That could be viewed as the difference in the game.

“Our biggest disappointment tonight was our inability to slow the running game of U of L”, coach Brooks said. “They just crushed us on the ground. We were way too soft on defense.”

As bad as the Wildcats played, there were some bright spots. Burton had a career- high of 127 receiving yards, caught a touchdown pass and returned a fourth- quarter kickoff 100 yards for a score.

“Nothing I did was special”, the junior from Manual High School said. We just came out flat tonight” U of K’s Woodson also completed a 80yard pass to Dickey Lyons. Woodson finished 9 of 24 for 231 yards and three touchdowns. For the fourth year in a row, Louisville would take the Governor’s Cup by a large margin over the Kentucky Wildcats, leading many to ask what’s next in Brooks future: Can he righten the ship or will this be his last Governor Cup game.

Louisville also has some questions to be answered. Coach Petrino addressed them after the game. “We just keep going,” Coach Petrino said. “We’ve had a lot of injuries around here before, but we don’t talk about them. We just keep going.”

The 59-28 win over Kentucky is something the Ville can be proud of, but it’s bitter sweet with the loss of our hometown hero Michael Bush. The question this reporter ask is, are the 3 birds on hand, George Stripling, Kolby Smith, and Freshman Anthony Allen better than the Bush they lost?

Underclass NBA 2006 Draft

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