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20th UK vs. UL Modern Day Rivalry and What We Must Do Well to Win

UK holds an edge in the all-time rivalry between the two schools (14-11) dating back to their earliest game in 1912. This game marks the 20th anniversary of the modern period in which the two schools have faced each other. After picking the rivalry back up during the 1994-95 season, the Cards have held an (11-8) advantage over the Cats. UK has won four of the last six meetings between the two sides, but unfortunately they haven’t been able to beat UL since the 2011 season, Joker’s first season as head coach.

Defensive Line

(h/t UK Athletics)

After the Western loss in which our defense was greatly exposed against the impressive rushing and passing attack of the Hilltoppers, UK came out last week and did not allow any points to be scored by the Miami offense. UK only allowed Miami 122 total yards on offense, a big improvement from the week before. Granted, Miami is terrible, but it was a huge step in the right direction both for the team’s physical production and confidence going forward. UK’s defensive line looks to really prove themselves this week against one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, Teddy Bridgewater, after a week where they totaled five sacks vs. Miami. Za’Darius showed why he came into the season with so much hype and leads the nation in sacks with four. Where UK really needs to show improvement this week and in the future is the secondary. UK’s defensive backs and safeties need to be able to defend the talented UL passing attack and prevent Bridgewater from having a big day if we want to see an actual game on Saturday. Cody Quinn returning to the line-up from injury adds much needed depth to the cornerback position. That said, if the defensive line doesn’t show up like they did vs. Miami, the DB’s jobs of trying to contain the pass will be much more difficult.

Za'Darius

(h/t UK Athletics)

Coach Stoops said this about Bridgewater, “He’s just very good at what he does. He has a great feel in the pocket. He eludes the pressure when and where he needs to and the rest of the time he sits in there and distributes the football. He’s very athletic and he’s very live.”

Bridgewater makes big offensive plays and stays poised in the pocket. Through two games he has totaled 752 yards and 9 touchdowns through the air. UL only rushed for 78 yards on 28 attempts vs. EKU last week, a dismal performance at best. Though, with the talented trio of Senorise Perry, Michael Dyer (moved up to #2 on depth chart this week), and Dominique Brown, the Cards can be very dangerous if the D-Line can’t plug up the middle and stop the run. The line must come up in a big way against UL and pressure Bridgewater into quicker decision making than he is used to.

Smith

(h/t UK Athletics)

We all know what UK’s offense is capable of doing and hopefully Stoops and Brown can come up with a game plan like they did last week to get the wheels turning on offense in the 2-QB set. Coming off a week where UK had 675 yards of total offense (413 passing, 262 rushing) it would be nice to hear a couple more of those air raid sirens vs. the Dirty Birds. The Cats currently boast the 13th best total offense in the nation behind the Dual-QB system from last week. Running the two quarterback set, the Cats might be able to cause some confusion in the Louisville defense, especially if we can incorporate a little hurry-up offense like we have in the previous weeks.

Whitlow

(h/t UK Athletics)

It’s not out of the realm of possibility for UK to make this a game, but the defense must step up in a big way like they did against Miami. The offense also must come out and stay composed under pressure and take some pressure off the defense by not going three-and-out every drive. Getting the offense going early will be crucial to keeping the UL defense honest on both the running and passing fronts. UK must show that we have balance in our offense and keep the Cards guessing with the Dual-QB offensive attack.

Stoops

(h/t UK Athletics)

Remember, Rome was not built in a day! It’s a cliché saying, but it’s true. Look at the program that Mark Stoops was handed last November, and look at where we are headed now. The state of the University of Kentucky football program has changed in a major way and we owe it to Coach Stoops to stick it out this year and support our team! For all the work that Stoops and Co. have done on the recruiting trail these past 10 months and preparing this team for a top-ranked schedule like UK has, he deserves a lot of recognition. Be patient and for the love of god don’t ever boo Stoops again. Let’s show our coaches and players what it truly means to be a member of the Big Blue Nation and pack Commonwealth. Little brother needs to know that we are not to be overlooked on a schedule like theirs that possesses only the finest NCAA talent.

Go Cats.

@kaansoloKSR

Article written by Kaan Solagan

Senior at the University of Kentucky. Atherton High School Alumnus. "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." - The Greatest

1 Comment for 20th UK vs. UL Modern Day Rivalry and What We Must Do Well to Win



  1. Mathdaddy
    7:06 pm September 10, 2013 Permalink

    Kaan Solo ripping on a helpless Miami but that wont help his Cats defeat the Dirty Birds!!