There has been some trash-talk by the Kentucky Wildcats leading into the Governor’s Cup, some more nuanced than others. Most will point to Calvin Taylor Jr.’s comments as the epicenter. The win guarantee wasn’t the biggest shot taken at the Cards this week.
At Mark Stoops’ weekly press conference he had plenty of nice things to say about Louisville’s offense, especially Tutu Atwell and Javian Hawkins. When asked about the Cardinals’ defense, he had this to say:
“I think what impresses me most is they’re playing harder,” Stoops said. “They are playing much harder from a year ago, you can see they are getting good coaching and they have a bunch of guys running to the ball.”
When asked Eddie Gran the same question, he provided a similar response.
“They’re in the right places at the right time. They play really hard. It’s a good looking bunch too. we’ve talked to some people that’ve played them and they’re physical.” Gran added, “They just know where to go and they do a really good job on the back-end switching up coverages.”
Oh, you think “they play really hard” is a compliment? It’s the “bless your heart” of the football world. Do you know why Stoops and Gran did not go into great detail to discuss Louisville’s defense?
Sorry. I don’t think I accurately got my point across. This man can describe it much more accurately if you replace “Lakers” with “Cardinals.”
The Lakers STINK! They are contaminating Hollywood, DAMNIT! pic.twitter.com/VXELEqewx4
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) February 27, 2019
Somebody has to say it. The UK coaches will not so I will. Louisville’s defense stinks.
This is not an attempt to rivalry. Numbers clearly indicate that Louisville’s defense is very bad. If you look at the scores you will find that seven of their 11 opponents scored 30 points or more. Louisville ranks 105th in America in scoring defense, allowing 32.8 points per game. Those numbers only get worse when you look at their rush defense.
This year they’ve faced five teams that are ranked in the bottom 50 in the country in rushing offense. Virginia, Florida State, Miami, Syracuse and N.C. State averaged 162 yards against the Cards and 4.4 yards per carry. Syracuse averaged only 140.7 yards per game on the ground entering the Louisville game. When they faced the Cards last Saturday they nearly doubled that total, picking up 261 yards at Cardinal Stadium.
For those who have been paying attention, Kentucky’s rushing attack is better than good. Since Lynn Bowden took over the Wildcats have the second-best rushing attack in America. The only time Louisville has faced a top 25 rushing attack, Notre Dame and Clemson averaged 6.8 yards per carry.
UK’s offensive numbers since Bowden became QB1 (what rank would be over a full yr)
Scoring: 25.7 (87)
Yards Per Play: 6.15 (44)
Yards Per Carry: 6.44 (3)
3rd Down: 48.44% (14)
RZ TD: 72.22% (20)
Rush Yards: 325.33 (2)
— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) November 26, 2019
To compound the problems with Louisville’s defense, they have not faced a running quarterback all season. Oh, and the game is going to be played in a torrential downpour, elements that favor a running team.
Louisville’s defense may be playing harder for Scott Satterfield, but they are incapable of playing hard enough to slow down Kentucky’s rushing attack.
Brad White’s comments from this week aren’t related to the post, but I haven’t shared them yet. Go ahead and enjoy the discussion.