A backup last season to star Teddy Bridgewater — now with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings — Gardner played in six games and completed 8 of 12 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
Gardner was considered the favorite following a good spring, but still had to prove himself in fall camp. Petrino said he did that, announcing in a release Sunday night that Gardner "demonstrated good decision-making and executed our offense."
Louisville now awaits word on the status of senior wide receiver Devante Parker, who injured his left foot in practice Friday night. He will be examined by an orthopedic surgeon in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday.