Louisville 2023 Bowl Review: Where Do Cardinals Go After Holiday Bowl Loss To USC

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

What was meant to be a night to remember in the Fleet City ended with Louisville falling to an undermanned Southern California team in the 2023 Holiday Bowl.

The Cardinals were unable to stop USC’s fast-paced offense, with first-time starting quarterback Miller Moss throwing for 372 yards and six touchdowns, leading the Trojans to a 42-28 win.

The lopsided loss came despite Louisville being a 4.5-point favorite on ESPN BET Kentucky, with many expecting USC to limp into San Diego after Heisman Trophy winning QB Caleb Williams entered the NFL Draft and sat out the contest. Instead, Williams’ heir apparent thrived, leading USC into the Big Ten on a winning note and sending the Cardinals to a 10-4 final record.

All year long, BetKentucky.com has updated readers on the Cardinals’ bowl game odds at Kentucky sports betting sites, from their 10-1 start to the team’s disappointing late season slumps against Kentucky, Florida State and USC. Here’s what Louisville fans should know as the school prepares for Year Two of the Jeff Brohm era.

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Where Louisville Goes From Here?

The Cardinals will lose starting quarterback Jack Plummer to graduation. Plummer’s final collegiate contest saw him complete 21-of-25 passes, but for a mere 141 yards with zero touchdowns and a QBR of 57.7 — which represented a marked improvement over his play against the Seminoles.

In the ACC championship game against FSU, Plummer posted a QBR rating of 13.3, which speaks to Brohm’s need to hit the ground running with a new signal caller in 2024. Luckily for Louisville fans, Brohm currently has the 24th-ranked recruiting class in the nation per 247 Sports, with four-star quarterback Pierre Clarkson out of Southern California potentially being the next man up at the position.

The Cardinals schedule next year should draw plenty of Kentucky betting apps interest, as they play Notre Dame and Kentucky in the non-conference, along with ACC games against Boston College, Clemson, Stanford and UVA on the road and Georgia Tech, Miami, Pitt and SMU at home.

Still, it’ll be difficult for Louisville faithful to not look back at the team’s 2023 campaign with a sense of what could have been, given the fast start.

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Louisville's Recent Bowl Results

SeasonBowl GameOpponentResultFinal Record
2023-24Holiday Bowl (San Diego)USC42-28 L10-4
2022-23Fenway Bowl (Boston)Cincinnati24-7 W8-5
2021-22First Responder Bowl (Dallas)Air Force31-28 L6-7
2020-21Not Eligible4-7
2019-20Music City Bowl (Nashville)Mississippi State38-28 W8-5
2018-19Not Eligible2-10

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Author

Christopher Boan is a staff writer for BetKentucky.com. He has covered sports and sports betting for more than seven years and has worked for publications such as ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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