There are just a few things that John L. Smith and Bobby Petrino have in common, but one of those is No Big Blue.
The former and current Arkansas head coaches both coached at Louisville, whose arch rival is Kentucky.
"Well, it's a natural because coming from Louisville and the number of years we spent in Louisville, that was our rival at the time," Smith said. "The first year they beat us badly. They got after us really good. But then we turned that around and things changed which was really good.
"It's just one of those things that it's a rival game you have a lot of memories of old games that have been played and a lot of good memories of old games that have been played that you want to repeat," Smith added. Just one of those things you light up on playing them."
Kentucky (1-5, 0-3) is certainly struggling this season, but is actually 4-2 in its series against Arkansas (2-4, 1-2) – and 2-0 in games played in Fayetteville.
The Wildcats beat the Razorbacks 21-20 in 2008 in Petrino's first season at Arkansas by rallying for two touchdowns in Fayetteville at the game's final 13 minutes.
Wilson was on the sidelines for that 2008 game – a season he played in two games, but ended up having to redshirt when he got sick.
"They're an SEC program," Wilson said. " They recruit the same players we recruit. They do a number of things very similar. Same conference. So it's going to be a competitive game. And it's a big game for us. Another situation where we're right here in this place that we really like."
The two also hooked up for one of college football's longest games ever when Arkansas beat Kentucky 71-63 win in 2003.
It's not likely to get that high scoring this year as the two teams have each struggled out of the gate with Arkansas just ending a four-game losing streak and Kentucky currently riding one.
The Wildcats will be starting their fourth quarterback in less than two years in freshman Jason Whitlow, who was 10-of-21 passing for 73 yards and also rushed for eight times for 26 yards.
Patrick Towles – another true freshman – started last week, but has a high ankle sprain and will be out this week according to Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips.
Towles was starting in place of injured 2012 starter Maxwell Smith, who took over for 2011 starter and current back-up Morgan Newton after he got hurt last season.
"We are going to prepare for 13 (Whitlow) coming in," Smith said. " I know they played No. 14 l(Towles) ast week some as well. So we just have to prepare for whoever it is we see. I thought 13 did a good job for them last week. So that's who we would anticipate us seeing."
The Wildcats have lost three straight SEC games - at Florida (38-0) and then home games to South Carolina (38-17) and Mississippi State (27-14) last week.
Again, we got another opportunity going into a hostile environment, a team that's playing really well offensively," Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips said. " "Second in the league in passing at 300 yards per game. They scored 11 touchdowns passing. They're fifth in total offense with 409 yards. Got one of the nation's top passers in Tyler Wilson. One of the top receivers in our conference, Cobi Hamilton, who is leading the league in receiving yardage. Two great backs in (Knile) Davis and (Dennis) Johnson."
Kentucky has played 14 true freshmen this season and has 16 rookies listed on its two-deep depth chart.
"We got a lot of those young guys that are playing some exciting ball," Phillips said. "Again, there's going to be mistakes made when you're playing guys that are freshmen and playing for the first time. We played two more freshmen this past week, a total of 14. But if you look across, all of them are making plays. It's hard for you not to look and watch those guys play and not get excited about them."
No Big Blue
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
Longhorns Preview Oklahoma StateTexas offensive players discuss the Longhorns' upcoming game at Oklahoma State to kickoff Big 12 Conference play.
Horns DigestMonday at 6:21 PM
Louisiana CB 'Real Close' to a DecisionIt may not be too long before one of the top cornerbacks in Louisiana makes his decision. Four schools are high on his list and you can get the latest here...
Scout FootballMonday at 6:15 AM
JC defensive back talks ISU official visitOver the weekend, Iowa State played host to one of their top 2017 targets in the current recruiting cycle in Paramount, CA three-star JUCO CB Keisean Nixon. This visit for the…
AllCyclonesSunday at 6:34 PM
TCU vs Iowa State primerAfter falling in double-overtime to Arkansas, TCU looks to get back to their winning ways against Iowa State.
Horned Frog Insider09/15/2016