The Wildcats had a week off as well as the Cardinals. Rich Brooks has often said that he doesn't care for off weeks when the team is going good but one game does not signal a team going good. Brooks may find this break in the action more desirable since he saw some things in the 42-0 win over the Miami Redhawks that he feels needs some work. There were also some players that he would like to get healthier.
After only one game, his upcoming contest will probably feel like a season opener which defeats Brooks' original premise for wanting all of the U of L games moved back from the opener.
There was a huge question mark hanging over both programs as to the quality of the quarterback play. The Big Blue Nation feels like it got their answer in the affirmative and there was mixed reviews in the case of Big Red. However we often take too much from first games. It's never as good as it appears or as bad as it seems. It's always somewhere in that 60-percent gray area. And in the case of both teams, they would hope they are on the high side of that sixty percent. It's a commonly theory that teams improve more between the first and second games than at any time in the season.
This being the rivalry it is, either team rarely beats the spread. It could be said that the Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe is somewhat on the hot seat. Every time he passes a light detector the spotlight shines directly on him. There could already be trouble in Denmark or "Houston we have a problem." Hotshot freshman running back Darius Ashley from Cincinnati St. X has already hurled a dagger of resentment at Kragthorpe for not getting in the game against Indiana State.
Lexington native and starting U of L quarterback Justin Burke is having a homecoming that he would like to make a good one. He played his high school football for Lexington Catholic and signed with North Carolina State then transferred to Louisville. Kragthorpe call Burke a "Bright Guy" who will be "Ultra prepared." Sometimes that brings about paralysis by analysis.
For the last decade plus, U of L has rode what we call "The Perfect Storm." This meaning just about everything that could be their favor was there, in spades. Let's address that storm point by point – 1) By being in the Metro Conference and Conference USA, they were able to take advantage of Prop 48 and bringing some questionable academic athletes; 2) They ran a loose ship often steered by Athletic Director Tom Jurich, who allowed felon Willie Williams on the team and was later tossed – Jonta Woodard was allowed to stay on the team after receiving bulk marijuana in the mail and other drug paraphernalia found in his apartment…John L. Smith said he wanted to save him; 3) They caught UK on probation which allowed them to grab a hold to the states recruiting base; 4) U of L was the beneficiary of a run of excellent skill position recruits coming from the city of Louisville ala Chris Redman, Brian Brohm, Michael Bush, Mario Urrutia, and Ibn Green; 5) Recruiting mistakes by UK in the persons of the Leffew brothers from Danville and Bryan Stations J. T. Haskins which preceded Eric Shelton and we are sure that put a damper on that recruitment; 6) Some very productive transfers since their climb up the ladder – Eric Shelton, Deion Branch, Carwell Gardner, Donnell Gordon, and Leland Taylor.
Howard Schnellenberger, who landed his team in the Fiesta Bowl and garnered a win over Alabama, started it all fortuitously. Kentucky is now looking for some good fortune to come their way to continue their climb up the ladder.
Position's breakdown looks like this – quarterback advantage UK; running back advantage Louisville; Offensive Line advantage UK has the depth; tight end advantage toss up; wide receiver advantage Louisville; defensive line advantage UK; linebacker advantage toss up; cornerbacks advantage UK; safeties advantage UK. UK 34, U of L 13.