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3 Predictions that might be worth 3 points

On paper, Louisville is supposed to beat Kentucky by almost 2 touchdowns on Sunday. If we’ve learned much of anything from the recent Governor’s Cup results, the clear-cut favorite does not always come out on top. Logical fans from both sides of the equation have vocalized at various points this week that the margin between these two teams is starting to feel a lot closer than two touchdowns. Throw in the rivalry aspect of it and the fact that the game is the first of the season for both teams and all bets are off. For about two weeks now, I’ve been left with the same lingering thought when predicting the outcome of this game: 3 points. For whatever reason, perhaps it’s overuse of 3 goggles from October to April or the fact that a walk-off field goal would be the perfect dramatic ending to this game, 3 points feels a highly likely margin for me when it comes to these 2 teams.

For weeks now, we’ve dissected the details. We waited patiently for Kentucky to name the starting quarterback. We waited for any slither of information at all to come from the Louisville camp. We’ve compared playmakers, quarterbacks, defenses, running game vs. passing game, etc, etc. As much as I want Max Smith or DeMarco Robinson to combine for a “Stevie Got Loose 2.0” moment, and as much as Louisville fans want Teddy Bridgewater heroics, I have a feeling the 3 point margin will come down the smallest of details. The difference between a year’s worth of trash talking and, well, a year’s worth of trash talking without results to back it up, might not be a 40-yard touchdown pass or a dazzling run by one of Kentucky’s 18 running backs. The winning touchdown probably won’t come on a pass from Max Smith to tight end Morgan Newton (kidding, people). The difference will be something much more minute, and I have 3 predictions (and yes, I know some of them may seem obvious) that might be worth 3 points. And in this game, 3 points very well might be worth the win.

1) Special Teams heroics mistakes

I would love to see Demarco Robinson return a punt for 6 as much as the next Kentucky fan, but with a relatively inexperienced return unit for both Louisville and Kentucky, the more important key to the game on Sunday might be which team avoids a big mistake. Will either team’s special teams account for 6 points? I’m betting no…or at least not how you might think. The Kentucky coaching staff talked about having trouble finding the guy, or guys, who could return the ball without fumbling. If either team makes a crucial error on special teams, most likely a fumble– either resulting in a TD or good field position– that might be the difference and doesn’t seem highly unlikely considering the lack of experience.

*Fun fact: Last year’s game featured 14 punts.

2) Penalties

Last year’s Governor’s Cup match-up was wrought with penalties. The penalties added up to 108-yards total on 13 penalties. It’s important to note that last year’s game was the 3rd game of the season as well. The young/talented players for each team might be prone to penalty-worthy mistakes, especially in the very first outing of the season. Whichever team can avoid turning 3rd and short plays into 3rd and long plays might have the best chance to keep their running game in control of the tempo. We’ve heard a lot this week about how the team able to run the ball the most successfully has won the game.

*Fun fact: UK rushed for 35 total yards in the game against Louisville last year. Louisville completed 12 total passes.

3) One big decision at the right time…

Rich Brooks wasn’t always the most risky coach in the game, but he seemed to have an impeccable knack for knowing when the perfect moment arrived to do something a bit unexpected. They say that every coach and every team has a few special situation plays that they practice every week just in case the moment comes. Which coach might have the knack of making the big decision to try something unexpected at the right time during the game on Sunday? The play might not result in instant gratification or a touchdown even. The play might simply result in keeping a drive alive long enough to gain 20 more yards and then hit a field goal.


It seems as if many years in the Governor’s Cup, the players who we expect to have the biggest impact don’t always come through. The biggest play of the game might come from a guy who wasn’t quite cut out to be in the starting unit on offense or defense, and instead tried his hand at making an impact on special teams. 

Do you have any other predictions for the deciding factor in the outcome of the game? If the margin is close, what will be the difference?


Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

21 Comments for 3 Predictions that might be worth 3 points

  1. gobgblu37
    8:24 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    Special teams could very well be the difference, dirty birds are starting a new punter and kicker. Cats have a new punter but very experienced kicker and Jill will be here in 3 2 1 to tell us we suck. GBB!!!

  2. Terry
    8:30 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    I’d love to see a list of the favorite and the outcome of all Governors Cup games.

  3. Jake_GOCATS
    8:37 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    2 look at Phil Steele’s website he has them dating back to the late 90s.

  4. Bballdoc
    8:46 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    Patrick Ligon (who?) on special teams recovers a fumble. Write it down.

  5. jill
    8:55 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    kitties will lose by 3 or 4 touchdowns,,,yall suck

  6. Capt.Obvious
    9:10 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    Yes, I predict this game will be the beginnning of the end for Joker.

  7. Oh No
    9:24 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    All this football talk is depressing me. Basketball can’t get here soon enough.

  8. TimCooch
    9:26 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    Hope you’re right, but man… We bad.

  9. Hilbert
    9:29 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    Cats by ten. 27/17. Write it down.

  10. jill
    9:52 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    #5…nice try..the real Jill says…UL 31..Kitties 17

  11. BigBlueFever
    11:15 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    all the jills suck

  12. Jill sucks a**
    11:21 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    Jill is a royal c*nt and I’d like to placekick her square in her ovaries

  13. BigBlueFever
    11:35 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    #13 Amen. Do you need a placeholder?

  14. BigBlueFever
    11:36 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    #13 But wait, she probably had them removed decades ago.

  15. Jill sucks a**
    11:58 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    #14,15Haaaaaahaaa well played, sir

  16. BigBlueFever
    12:09 am August 29, 2012 Permalink

    #16 thank you very much…she is such a nasty person

  17. Joker will prove you wrong
    6:41 am August 29, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t see how some of you call yourselves UK fans. Its F’ing depressing to read some of these comments. Get behind the team and shut the hell up. Most of you are probably the same suck asses who root for UK basketball and UT football. Disgusting.

  18. Billy G
    11:41 am August 29, 2012 Permalink

    I would bet my life that Kentucky loses. And that’s all that really matters, not by how much.

  19. Tom98cat
    11:48 am August 29, 2012 Permalink

    #19 You might as well be using Monopoly money .

  20. Allan
    3:08 pm August 29, 2012 Permalink

    I’m actually going to answer this question: If UK’s front 7 can stop UofL’s run game, then everyone may find out that the Cards’ receivers are a little overrated and UK will have a good shot. But Teddy’s still Teddy, and there will always be a chance he can just win the game by himself. So it should be interesting.