Breakdown: Kentucky at Louisville

Kentucky Sports Report provides a look at the Governor's Cup matchup between the Wildcats and the Cardinals.

Kentucky at Louisville

When: Saturday, September 04 3:30 pm Eastern
Where: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY

Louisville Cardinals Schedule
9/4 – vs. Kentucky
9/11 – vs. Eastern Kentucky
9/18 – at Oregon State
10/2 – at Arkansas State
10/9 – vs. Memphis
10/15 – vs. Cincinnati
10/23 – vs. Connecticut
10/30 – at Pittsburgh
11/6 – at Syracuse
11/13 – vs. South Florida
11/20 – vs. West Virginia
11/26 – at Rutgers

2009 Statistical Leaders
Louisville Rushing: Victor Anderson – 89 carries, 473 yards, 5 touchdowns
Kentucky Rushing: Derrick Locke – 196 carries, 908 yards, 6 touchdowns
Louisville Passing: Adam Froman – 111-185, 1354 yards, 6 touchdowns, 5 interceptions
Kentucky Passing: Mike Hartline – 79-133, 802 yards, 6 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
Louisville Receiving: Doug Beaumont – 38 catches, 465 yards
Kentucky Receiving: Randall Cobb – 39 catches, 447 yards, 4 touchdowns
Louisville Tackles: Johnny Patrick – 53 tackles, four for loss
Kentucky Tackles: Danny Trevathan – 80 tackles, four for loss
Louisville Sacks: William Savoy – 5 sacks
Kentucky Sacks: DeQuin Evans – 6 sacks
Louisville Interceptions: Brandon Heath, Johnny Patrick – 2 interceptions
Kentucky Interceptions: Randall Burden – 2 interceptions

Team Statistics

Rushing Offense: Kentucky 191.2 – Louisville 125.2
Passing Offense: Kentucky 140.3 – Louisville 208.9
Total Offense: Kentucky 331.5 – Louisville 334.1
Scoring Offense: Kentucky 26.1 – Louisville 18.1
Rushing Defense: Kentucky 182.9 – Louisville 165.1
Passing Defense: Kentucky 177.5 – Louisville 206
Total Defense: Kentucky 360.4 – Louisville 371.1
Scoring Defense: Kentucky 22.7 – Louisville 26.3
Turnover Margin: Kentucky +.15 – Louisville -.25

Louisville has an entirely new staff and new systems this season under Head Coach Charlie Strong. Strong will more than likely run a variation of the spread offense that Florida (where he was Defensive Coordinator) has run so successfully under Urban Meyer.

While the Cardinals talent level isn't as high as Florida, the spread offense is great at taking advantage of mismatches that the offense has over the defense. Players like Victor Anderson and Doug Beaumont are as talented as most any player Kentucky will face this season. Getting these players isolated in space against Kentucky's defenders will be Strong's goal today. Kentucky will have to tackle well in space, otherwise Louisville will give the Wildcats a tough time with their play makers. A key matchup will be the Kentucky defensive front against the Louisville offensive front. Kentucky will have to get pressure on Froman and force him into making plays that he's not comfortable with.

On offense, Kentucky will have to establish the run and be prepared to take on eight or nine men in the box while the Cardinals will dare Mike Hartline to throw the ball. If Kentucky can run effectively against the stacked defensive front of Louisville, the Wildcats will be very successful. But Joker Phillips wants a balanced offense and Kentucky will try to throw the ball more often, especially with the athletes they have at wide receiver in Randall Cobb, Chris Matthews and LaRod King. The Wildcats offensive line will be key as they try to give Hartline time to throw the ball. Strong will throw several blitz packages at the Wildcats and Hartline will need to take advantage of the vacated areas on the field in order to be successful.

Final Analysis
While Kentucky has more talent top to bottom, Louisville isn't void of talent all together. There are dangerous weapons on the Cardinal offense that could give the Wildcats a headache. Kentucky needs to take care of the ball and use their depth over four quarters to wear down the Cardinals. Prediction: Kentucky – 34 Louisville – 24

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