"I think they're still averaging 44 points," Dantonio said.
"They're still running their offense and [Cantwell] is playing
Cantwell has filled in ably since Brohm injured his right
(throwing) hand in a win over Miami on Sept. 16, throwing for 513
yards and four touchdowns while leading the Cardinals (5-0) to wins
over Kansas State and Middle Tennessee.
But Brohm's surgically repaired right thumb has healed faster
than expected. Brohm originally planned to return in time for
Louisville's Big East showdown with No. 5 West Virginia on Nov. 2,
but said on Wednesday his thumb is "80-85 percent" of where it
needs to be for him to play for the Keg of Nails.
And while coach Bobby Petrino knows there's nothing wrong with
playing it safe and delaying Brohm's comeback, Brohm's progress
this week might not give Petrino a choice.
"He's zipping it pretty good," Petrino said. "It's really
kind of amazing. I think everyone was shocked the first day he
threw and he's just gotten better since then."
Petrino said he may wait until game time to make a decision.
Either way, the challenge remains the same for the Bearcats (3-3,
0-1): find a way to stop the nation's number one offense.
"It's another test to measure our program," Dantonio said.
"Since I've come here, we've looked to Louisville as a measuring
Though the Cardinals have won 14 straight home games -- the
second-longest streak in the nation -- the Bearcats will hardly be
intimidated. They've already played at No. 1 Ohio State and No. 22
Virginia Tech this season, games in which they held early leads
before letting things slip away.
"I think we've matured," Dantonio said. "We've played in some
hostile environments. The teams we lost to are good football
The Cardinals have dominated the rivalry with the Bearcats since
Petrino took over the program in 2003, winning all three meetings
by an average of 30 points, including a 70-7 romp at home two years
ago. But in an improved Big East, the Cardinals are taking nothing
"Every game is going to be a battle and that starts this
week," he said. "We have to do a good job or preparation for
Cincinnati. They're capable of coming in and playing great."
They'll have to if they want to hand the Cardinals just their
second home loss under Petrino. Though the Cardinals survived their
nonconference schedule undefeated, Petrino said there are areas of
concern, particularly in the running game. The Cardinals struggled
at times against Middle Tennessee, though Petrino took much of the
blame for staying with the run too long when the Blue Raiders were
packing nine defenders near the line.
"I'm still concerned about it, but I think we'll run the ball
well," Petrino said. "The thing is you have to have the balance
and be willing to do both."
Brohm, who will wear a splint on the injured thumb until it
fully heals, said he knows there's a danger of aggravating the
injury whenever he returns but that it's just something he'll have
to deal with.
"I think that's always going to be in the back of your mind,"
he said. "We'll have to see how it goes, but once I get on the
field in game action I won't be thinking about it at all."
Top 25 Overview
This Ohio River "rivalry" is played for the Keg of Nails Trophy. Just wondering: How many kegs do you think were consumed before they came up with that idea?