Game Preview: Louisville v Kentucky

Cardinal Authority previews Saturday's rivalry contest between Louisville - Kentucky at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium

Game Details

Where: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m.
TV: ESPN2 - Beth Mowins (play-by-play), Joey Galloway (analyst), Paul Carcaterra (reporter).
Radio: WHAS 840 AM, Learfield Sports Network – Paul Rogers (Play-By-Play), Craig Swabek (Analyst), Doug Ormay (Sideline)
Surface: FieldTurf

The Backdrop

For the first time, Louisville and Kentucky will meet in the regular season finale and becomes part of rivalry weekend, which also includes other ACC v. SEC matchups, Georgia vs. Georgia Tech, Florida vs. Florida State and South Carolina vs. Clemson.

A lot is at stake for both programs on Saturday. While the visiting Wildcats will be attempting to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2010, the Cardinals are looking to bolster their resume with a spot in the Orange Bowl as a possibility.

Series History

It's a rivalry that dates back to 1912, but didn't exist from 1925 until the series renewed in 1994. Kentucky leads the overall series 14-12, but Louisville controls the modern day rivalry with a 12-8 edge. The two teams have split the 8 meetings in Louisville.

The Cardinals have won three straight in the series and were a perfect 4-0 against the Wildcats during Bobby Petrino's first tenure at the school. Petrino is 5-1 overall against Kentucky, with his only loss coming at Arkansas in 2008. He also defeated Kentucky while coaching Western Kentucky in 2013.

The annual winner of the game receives the Governor's Cup Trophy. The Governor’s Cup stands 33 inches tall and weighs 110 pounds. The trophy’s base and upright columns are hand-milled black marble. The glass components are optic-grade crystal. All metal parts are 23-karat, gold-plated brass. The cup itself is made of pewter with a 23-karat gold-plated finish

About the Wildcats

**UK has won five games this year, more than 2012 and 2013 combined (two each season).

**Kentucky has 10 players on its 2014 roster from the city of Louisville: sophomore defensive end Jason Hatcher (Trinity), junior cornerback Rodney Cox (duPont Manual), freshman cornerback Keron Wakefield (duPont Manual), freshman tight end Thaddeus Kazunas (Trinity), freshman tight end James Campbell (Trinity), sophomore kicker Max Strong (Trinity), sophomore tight end Tanner Fink (North Oldham), senior offensive lineman Max Godby (Christian Academy of Louisville), freshman wide receiver Miles Thompson (duPont Manual) and freshman wide receiver Charles Walker (St. Xavier).

**With its win against ULM, Kentucky started 5-1 for the first time since 2007 and only the seventh time since 1950.

**Senior defensive end Bud Dupree has 22.5 career sacks, needing 3.5 more to tie for the most all-time in school history.

**The Kentucky offense has scored at least 30 points six times this season.

Statistical Comparison

Total Offense
73 389.4 72 390.5
Passing Offense
57 233.9 53 236.2
Passing Efficiency
59 130.73 77 122.46
Rushing Offense
72 155.5 75 154.3
Scoring Offense
46 31.5 69 28.2
First Downs
72 223 83 217
Third Down Conv.
80 38.2% 101 35.3%
Rushing Defense
3 88.5 97 201.5
Pass Defense
34 201.7 30 200.0
Pass Eff. Defense
9 105.41 50 121.78
Total Defense
7 290.2 70 401.5
Net Punting
110 34.42 67 37.38
Kickoff Returns
39 22.32 25 23.09
Turnover Margin
25 +2 30 +4
Sacks 9 3.27 56 2.18
Tackles For Loss
22 7.1 90 5.3
1 23 22 13


**The Cardinals will honor 23 seniors on Saturday. U of L is 54-40-1 all-time on Senior Day. The 23 seniors are: Chris Acosta, Dominique Brown, Luke Brohm, Jamon Brown, Gerald Christian, Kai De La Cruz, Grant Donovan, B.J. Dubose, Michael Dyer, Terell Floyd, Michaelee Harris, Andrew Johnson, Ryan Johnson, Lorenzo Mauldin, John Miller, Matt Milton, Diontrez Mount, Brett Nelson, David Noltemeyer, DeVante Parker, Andrew Polston, Eli Rogers, Jake Smith.

**Bobby Petrino is 9-0 as a head coach on Senior Day.

**Safety Gerod Holliman leads the Football Bowl Subdivision with a school record 13 interceptions this year. He is tied with former N.C. State cornerback David Amerson for the ACC single-season record set in 2011 and is currently one pick away from tying Al Worley's (Washington) NCAA record of 14 set in 1968.

**Quarterback Reggie Bonnafon was named the ACC Rookie of the Week after his performance in Louisville's 31-28 win at Notre Dame.

**Louisville is 22-1 in the last three seasons when attempting at least 35 rushing attempts and is 39-5 under Petrino when rushing from 150 or more yards.

**The Cardinals are 49-9 when scoring 20 points or more under Bobby Petrino and 43-5 when leading after three quarters.

Social Updates

Cardinal Authority's Jody Demling and Michael McCammon will provide updates before, during and after the game via the Cardinal Authority forums and social media.

Beginning near kickoff, Cardinal Authority will host a live game thread in the Insiders forum, which is located here. Fans are encouraged to participate in the discussion. Additionally, will be a game thread in the Cardinal Authority football forum, The CardMarch, located here.

Follow publisher Jody Demling on Twitter at @jdemling and senior writer Michael McCammon at @mcmichael20.

Also, be sure to follow Cardinal Authority on Instagram by clicking here.


RB Brandon Radcliff

DL Sheldon Rankins

OL Jake Smith

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