UK’s 2010 record was 6-7, including a lost to Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
UL’s 2010 record was 7-6, including a win over Southern Miss in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl.
UK is 14-9 all-time against Louisville, including a four game winning streak against the Cards.
UK defeated Central Michigan last week 27-13.
Louisville suffered a loss to Florida International last week 24-17.
Game will be played at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky at 7pm EST.
Game will be televised on ESPNU.
Players to watch Louisville
On offense there are a few names fans should remember. The Cards will primarily run the spread offense with Will Stein under center. Stein is small, but is a competitor. On the season, he is completing 62% of his passes. He has thrown for 575 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Due to his size, look for him to move outside the pocket in the passing game.
In the backfield, the Cards will split carries between Vic Anderson and Jeremy Wright. Anderson has 90 rushing yards on 22 carries this season while Wright has 85 yards on 29 carries. Only Anderson has a touchdown. The running backs will catch the ball out of the backfield too. Anderson has 7 receptions on the season for 45 yards.
Will Stein will be looking to throw the ball to Josh Chichester, who leads the team in receptions. Chichester is a senior tight end who is averaging 18.75 yards per catch. The Cards top two receivers are freshmen Devante Parker and Michaelee Harris. Both receivers have hauled in 7 receptions this season. Devante Parker is a great athlete. In fact, UK recruited him and fans will see why Joker Phillips wanted him. He has a touchdown in both games so far this season.
The Cards top player on defense is linebacker Dexter Heyman. For the season, he has 18 tackles and plays from sideline to sideline. Daniel Brown, Preston Brown and Mike Evans are also guys who will be flying around the ball. Charlie Strong is a defensive minded coach, so look for a lot of blitzes and schemes to try and confuse Morgan Newton.
Players to watch UK
The Cats took a nice step in the right direction last week after defeating Central Michigan. Still, Morgan Newton and the receivers have to play better. Joker Phillips has stated the Cats will run Newton out of the shotgun more to keep defenses honest. There is no doubt UK will try to keep the chains moving with Newton, but the Cats need other weapons. With Matt Roark dropping on the depth chart, Brian Adams will see more action. I have felt all summer Adams was the guy the Cats needed to have a big year. He’ll receive his opportunity on Saturday.
Due to Raymond Sanders’ injury, Josh Clemons will carry the load for the Cats in the backfield. Many people felt Clemons was on his way to becoming the starter after his performance last week. Clemons is good, but Sanders will be missed. There is no other running back who understands the offense like him. Jonathan George will back up Clemons. He is a hard runner who hits the holes. Also, don’t be surprised if CoShik Williams and Brandon Gainer receive opportunities.
Matt Smith is back for the game, but won’t start at center. I suspect he’ll see quite a bit of action and add depth. This will be something to watch in terms of chemistry between the quarterback and center. Also, Darrian Miller will receive his second start at right tackle on Saturday.
On defense everyone will remain glued to Danny Trevathan. The All-American deserves the attention, but look for Ridge Wilson and Winston Guy to have big games as well. Charlie Strong has been saying for over a month his team isn’t that good. Therefore, I expect some tricky when the Cards are on offense. UK’s defense has to be prepared. This could be a breakout game for Martavius Neloms or Randall Burden.
Keys to the game
While the Cats haven’t looked very impressive on offense, they are still 2-0. The Cardinals have struggled on both sides of the ball and are 1-1. This is a MUST WIN GAME FOR BOTH TEAMS. Every top recruit in the state will be in attendance too.
A few glaring stats that stick out heading into the Governor’s Cup are turnovers, 3rd down conversions and moving the chains. Currently UK has a better turnover margin than UofL. The Cats have forced twice as many turnovers as the Cards and haven’t turned it over quite as bad either. The Cats are +1 in turnover margin and the Cards are -3. The team that wins the turnover margin will likely win the game on Saturday. The Cards offense has converted on 3rd down 47% of the time compared to UK’s 25%. This is one area UK has to improve. Also, the Cards have 40 first downs compared to UK’s 25.
Joker Phillips has stated the strength of the program is UK’s offensive line. This is key for UK. The Cats must establish a strong ground attack. It will be interesting to see how true freshman Josh Clemons responds on Saturday. If the Cats can do this, they should win the game. On the other side of the ball, the Cards have given up 7 sacks already this season.
On defense, look for Rick Minter to blitz Stein and force him to make quick decisions. The Cards offense hasn’t faced a defense with as many athletes that UK has running around. Donte Rumph, Mister Cobble and Collins Ukwu will continue to be a force inside and UK’s linebackers should be able to make a lot of plays in the open field. The stadium will be rocking and if UK can jump out to an early lead it could get ugly for the Cards.
The Cats still have a ton of room to improve. Assuming the Cats don’t fumble the game away, they win. Charlie Strong was right when he said Joker Phillips has a better team.
Cats win 27-13