College football is back! Break out the drums! Cue the trumpets! Finally, our weekends have purpose again!
We are only two days away from Kentucky vs. Louisville. While almost everyone is picking the Cards to crush the Cats, my Big Blue heart just can’t handle that. So, in hopes of injecting the fan base with a little “Rudy”esque enthusiasm, I’ve come up with Five Reasons Why “We Got This”:
1. Our good friend Isaac
Our tropical friend is now breaking up over the nation’s midsection and giving meteorologists forecasting fits (I hear Bill Meck had to be sedated). While it looks like the game won’t be a total washout, there is still a 60% chance of rain, with potential for heavy downpours. Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium has field turf, which will hold up better than grass, but hey, we’ll take whatever help we can get. History says rain favors the team with the strongest running game, and although Josh Clemons will be on the bench, Kentucky has more talent and depth at running back than in recent memory. Joker says that “Le Freak” CoShik Williams is light years ahead of where he was last year, and that Raymond Sanders is improving as well. Add in Larry Vaught’s favorite Johnathan George and bruising freshmen Justin Taylor and Dy’shawn Mobley, and you’ve got a group capable of pushing the pile. Isaac could also give our secondary some much needed help, and, if we’re lucky, dampen the spirits of the Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium crowd. No one likes a wet weave or a clingy wife beater.
2. Special Teams better be special
If we’ve learned anything from the first night of college football, it’s that special teams are really, really, really important. They’re even more crucial in bad weather. One of the few areas in which Kentucky may be more skilled than the Cards is special teams. Louisville has a brand new punter and place kicker, and while UK’s starting punter Landon Foster is a true freshman, Joker says he’s faster than any punter he’s ever seen with the poise of a veteran. Craig “Auto” McIntosh has plenty of experience, and call me crazy, but I see him kicking the winning field goal. DeMarco Robinson will return punts, and if the talk out of camp is legit, he will be a playmaker. I just pray no one on our side pulls an Andre Parker.
3. We want the Rumph, gotta have that Rumph
If Kentucky has a chance on Sunday, they must put pressure on Bridgewater. Fortunately, all reports out of Lexington say that Collins Ukwu, Donte Rumph, Mister Cobble are playing like absolute beasts, and are by far the best unit on the defense. The Cats no longer have Winston Guy or Danny Trevathan, so they have to rely on the defensive line to set the tempo on the defensive side. If Ukwu, Rumph, and Cobble can slow Louisville’s rushing attack and force Bridgewater to make quick, stupid decisions, it will go a long way in helping the Cats to pull off an upset.
4. The Underdog factor
All week, Joker Phillips has been playing up the fact that the Cats are the underdogs in hopes of putting a chip on his players’ shoulders. Very few people have picked the Cats to win, which is kindling to the rivalry fire. Kentucky must get off to a fast start to have a chance, and what better way than replaying Charlie Strong’s “They’ll never win again” comment on loop before kickoff? Nothing motivates a group of kids like telling them they can’t do something. “Two touchdown underdogs?” Tackling fuel! “Teddy Bridgewater is God”? Tackling Fuel! “They supposed to be SEC”? Tackling fuel!
5. It’s Louisville
We just dedicated a whole day to how much we hate the Cards. Plus, they think themselves real pretty right now. Bless them, they actually think they might have a shot at the BCS Championship. Wonder why there’s a shortage in helium? The Cards have used it all for their inflated egos. Are they a talented team? Yes. On paper, are they more skilled than the Cats? No doubt about it. But in a rivalry game, with emotions high and the Cats with nothing to lose, none of that matters. When little brother is clucking and crowing, who better to bring him back to earth than big brother?
24-21 Kentucky. Go Cats.