After weeks of trash talk, the Governor’s Cup is finally here.
Since the game moved to the season finale in 2014, the stakes have never been higher. Each team believes they have the upper hand. Louisville’s high-powered offense brings seven wins to Lexington, while Mark Stoops’ six-win team boasts a dominant defense and a powerful rushing attack.
A battle of strength vs. strength, will Kentucky limit Louisville’s big plays or will Scott and his Tots be off to the races? We’ll find out when the rubber meats the road at noon on the SEC Network.
What’s at Stake for UK
- A fourth-straight seven-win regular season, a new school record.
- The over 6.5 win-total for UK bettors.
- The first win over Louisville in Lexington since 2009.
- A second consecutive win over the Cards, the first UK Governor’s Cup win streak since UK won four straight from 2007-10.
Most importantly, Kentucky fans would describe this tumultuous season as an overall success if the Cats can finish it with a win over Louisville. A loss will create mixed feelings at best. This game will define how we view this season in the years to come.
A Big Day for UK’s Linebackers
Louisville’s offense has grabbed headlines with big plays in the passing game. Its success is entirely predicated on how proficient the Cards can run the ball. Using Javian Hawkins up the middle and Tutu Atwell on fly sweeps to the outside, they put a ton of stress on defenses, especially the linebackers. Kentucky’s inside backers must be sound against the Cards’ zone blocking scheme, while the edges must set the edge and force the speedy athletes to cut back inside and run through traffic.
Special Teams are Significant
While you’re focused on UofL’s running attack or UK’s passing defense, it all may be moot in the final minutes. Outside of Max Duffy, “suspect” is a kind way to describe Kentucky’s special teams. Last week Josh Ali muffed a punt, UT Martin recovered an onside kick and the PAT woes from place-kickers continued. Louisville isn’t much better. They have not made a field goal since their kicker suffered an injury four games ago. Ryan Chalifoux missed his only field goal attempt, he is 16-of-18 on PATs but has thrown a touchdown pass on a fake.
In a close game, superb special teams can put one team over the top. In this case, who ever makes the fewest mistakes on special teams has the best chance at claiming a victory.
Senior Day at Kroger Field
Eleven seniors will say goodbye to the crowd at Kroger Field this afternoon. Arrive early to salute Kentucky’s successful senior class.
|39||Elijah Barnett||OLB||6-3||234||Lexington, Kentucky|
|53||Blake Best||LS||6-1||221||Duluth, Georgia|
|90||T.J. Carter||DE||6-4||287||Mableton, Georgia|
|56||Kash Daniel||LB||6-1||226||Paintsville, Kentucky|
|3||Jordan Griffin||S||6-0||194||Riverdale, Georgia|
|92||Phil Hoskins||DT||6-5||310||Toledo, Ohio|
|97||Ben Logsdon||K||6-4||186||Louisville, Kentucky|
|71||Logan Stenberg||OG||6-6||321||Madison, Alabama|
|92||Calvin Taylor Jr.||DE||6-9||311||Augusta, Georgia|
|14||Ahmad Wagner||WR||6-5||237||Huber Heights, Ohio|
|77||Mason Wolfe||OT||6-6||323||Henderson, Kentucky|
Another Rain Game
Mark Stoops’ team will play in the rain for the fourth time in six games. There is 100 percent chance of rain with temperatures in the low-50s. It’s the perfect recipe for a wild time in the Kroger Field stands. For a more detailed look at the forecast, Chris Bailey has you covered.
TV, Radio, Vegas
Your University of Kentucky Wildcats opened as 4-point favorites but UofL is a huge public betting favorite, dropping the line to UK -3.5. Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb and Alyssa Lang are on the call for the SEC Network. If you can’t watch, there are multiple ways to listen to The Voice of the Wildcats.
- AM: 840 WHAS, 630 WLAP
- FM: 98.1 WBUL
- Satellite: XM-190 and Sirius-134
- Online: iHeart Radio
…are not good. You can’t go mixing in anthracite with blue. Just wear all blue! I felt good about this game all week until I saw the pants. This could get ugly.
- 8:00 — The KSR Pregame Show at KSBar and Grille on 630 WLAP
- 9:00 — KSBar opens for Business
- 9:45ish — The Cat Walk
- 11:45 — Senior Day Ceremonies at Kroger Field
- Noon — Kickoff on the SEC Network
UK Basketball Takes Down UAB
The Blazers hung around longer than most would like, but the Wildcats still came away with a win. Enjoy the best of the best from a rowdy night at Rupp Arena.
College Football Schedule
- Noon: #1 Ohio State at #13 Michigan on Fox
- Noon: #3 Clemson at South Carolina on ESPN
- 3:30: #5 Alabama at #15 Auburn on CBS
- 3:30: #12 Wisconsin at #8 Minnesota on ABC
- 3:30: #9 Baylor at Kansas on ESPN
- 3:30: Miami at Duke on ESPN2
- 4:00: Vandy at Tennessee on SECN
- 7:00: Texas A&M at #2 LSU on ESPN
- 7:30: Colorado at #7 Utah on ABC
- 7:30: Florida State at #11 Florida on SECN
- 8:00: #7 Oklahoma at #21 Oklahoma State on Fox
- 10:00: Arizona at Arizona State on ESPN
- 10:30: Cal at UCLA on FS1
State Championships are Set
It was a big night for mountain teams. The Class A and 3A finals on Friday at Kroger Field will feature four mountain teams after Belfry survived not one, but two overtimes at DeSales, punching the ball in on fourth and one before going for two and the win to leave Louisville with a 15-14 victory. I’m not the only KSR employee suffering. Drew Franklin’s Madisonville North-Hopkins Maroons took a 52-14 loss at Johnson Central. All of the scores from Friday night:
- Paintsville 44, KCD 20
- Pikeville 36, Holy Cross 7
- Mayfield 35, Beechwood 7
- Somerset 40, Brethitt County 25
- Belfry 15, DeSales 14 2OT
- Bell County 46, Taylor County 28
- Boyle County 41, Central 14
- Johnson Central 52, Madisonville North-Hopkins 14
- Cov Cath 28, Bowling Green 0
- Frederick Douglass 28, Owensboro 17
- Male 48, Tates Creek 18
- Trinity 54, North Hardin 7
The State Championships will be played next weekend Friday through Sunday at Kroger Field. The place to prepare for each game is KSBar and Grille.
6A: Male vs. Trinity, Sunday at 2 p.m.
5A: Cov Cath vs. Frederick Douglass, Saturday at 8 p.m.
4A: Boyle County vs. Johnson Central, Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
3A: Belfry vs. Bell County, Friday at 7 p.m.
2A: Mayfield vs. Somerset, Saturday at 1 p.m.
1A: Paintsville vs. Pikeville, Friday at 2 p.m.