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Gardner Misses Practice, Bonnafon Taking First Team Reps

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The latest piece of news on the ever-changing-but-not-really U of L quarterback front is that Will Gardner did not practice on Tuesday, and that Reggie Bonnafon is currently taking the first team reps.

Bobby Petrino revealed the information during Wednesday morning's ACC coaches teleconference, and said that Bonnafon has been "great" after missing all of last week to deal with the sudden death of his father.

"He seems great," Petrino said of Bonnafon. "He's very motivated, he's excited. He had a very, very difficult week dealing with the tragedy of his father and all that goes with that. He hated not being able to go to the game last week because his teammates are a big part of his life. He was excited when he came back on Sunday to meetings and practice. He's done a very, very good job."

Petrino added that while Gardner did not practice on Tuesday, he did receive treatment and is getting "a little bit" better.

Okay, this is where I get to put on my irresponsible "blogger" hat and speculate...

At this point, I will be borderline shocked if Reggie Bonnafon is not your starting quarterback on Saturday. Will Gardner may dress and he may even play (although I don't think he will), but there has been nothing said to indicate that there's even a slight possibility that Gardner is going to be healthy enough to be the guy from start to finish against Wake Forest.

This presents Bonnafon with the same opportunity that Gardner had last week against Florida International. Reggie gets to take the field with the full knowledge that even if he messes up at some point, he's still going to be the guy; there's no one breathing down his neck over on the home sideline. I think it'll also help that he's going to be making his first start at home, and that he figures to get an enormous ovation from the crowd when he's announced over the loudspeakers as the starting Cardinal QB.

For as much as he's been talked about the last month or so, we still haven't seen nearly enough of Reggie Bonnafon to know all that much about him one way or the other. I think that changes on Saturday, and maybe the result of that is the offense taking that giant step forward that this team so desperately needs it to make.