In a move that surprises absolutely no one, Louisville Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino named redshirt sophomore Will Gardner the team’s starting quarterback.
After serving at Teddy Bridgewater’s backup a year ago, Gardner will now have the opportunity to be the ringleader in Petrino’s circus.
“I thought Will had an outstanding fall camp,” Petrino said in a statement. “He demonstrated good decision-making and executed our offense.”
Gardner played in five games last season during mop up duty for Bridgewater. Gardner was 8-of-12 passing for 112 yards and two touchdowns in his limited opportunities.
Despite being the team’s primary backup last season, Petrino wasn’t going to hand Gardner the starting job. A new offensive system was being put in place, and the new head coach wanted to give the other quarterbacks on the roster an opportunity to earn the position. Gardner rose to the occasion and the claimed the spot everyone thought was his from the onset of spring practice. Gardner looked spectacular in the team’s spring game and rode the momentum through fall camp.
“He’s a young man who is extremely coachable, very intelligent and really into it,” Petrino told USA TODAY in June. “When you talk about dedication and commitment, Will has done all of that.”
Louisville’s announcement came on the same day its opponent to open the season, the Miami Hurricanes, named their starting quarterback. True freshman Brad Kaaya is the Hurricanes’ new starting signal caller. The Cardinals will now have an advantage — albeit a slight one — in experience at quarterback when playing at home on Labor Day against their first official ACC opponent.