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October 5, 2009

Kragthorpe: Starting QB will be kept secret

Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe went with junior Justin Burke for the first three games of the season, but when Burke was injured against Utah, the Cardinals used junior Adam Froman behind center last week against Pittsburgh.

Monday morning, Kragthorpe updated the status of both Burke and Froman, but said he won't be making a QB announcement anytime soon.

When asked why he was not going to announce his starting quarterback until game time, Kragthorpe answered simply, "I don't want anybody to know who the quarterback is."

Then he clarified, "I don't want Southern Miss to know who the quarterback will be."

Pressed on why the decision would be made in secret, Kragthorpe explained that he's talked with both quarterbacks and that it wouldn't be a surprise to them on game day, but it would be a surprise to the opponent.

"Either one of those guys is going to be fine, I've talked to both of them," Kragthorpe said. "I'll let the practice situation be what it is during the week and you guys will find out when we walk out there on game day."

Burke had a bruised sternum and shoulder after the Utah game so Froman stepped into the starting role. Burke has started three games, is 1-2 as a starter and has completed 47 of 92 passes for 649 yards and three touchdowns. But he's also tossed three interceptions. Froman's started the Pitt loss at QB and was 18 of 30 for 166 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

"Both of those guys will be healthy, and what we'll do is practice both of those guys and make a gameday decision. Actually it'll be later in the week... let both of those guys go at it," Kragthorpe said. "Like I said in the postgame press conference, I feel very good about our quarterback situation - we have two guys back there who can both do a good job for us."

After stating his confidence in the quarterbacks, Kragthorpe explained he's more concerned about his secondary than who will start at quarterback.

"My main concern right now is getting our secondary depth built back up," the Cardinals coach said.

Coming into the season, Burke and Froman competed for the starting spot until just eight practices before the home opener. Froman, who was sidelined for several weeks with a muscle strain in his shoulder, was back to healthy by the Utah game and actually requested to play special teams in that game. (which he did). Froman is considered more of a dual-threat option, but Kragthorpe said he likes what both have shown in early action.

"Everybody talks about Adam as a runner and Justin as a thrower, but both of those guys have disproved any inadequacies that people thought they had going into the season," Kragthorpe said. "Justin has proved to be a guy very effective with his feet, and he can make plays outside the pocket on the run. He's run well for some first down yardage against UK on a couple of occasions and against Utah the other night he had a 21 yard run. And then I thought Adam really threw the ball crisply the other night. He had some play-action passes and he completed a couple of nice third down passes. I think both of those guys are becoming more complete players. I think people thought that Adam is going to be the runner and Justin is going to be the thrower, but I think they are both proving that they can be effective doing either."

Louisville will square off against Southern Miss Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The Homecoming game will be televised by ESPNU.


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