Louisville and Cincinnati will face each other for the 46th time this Saturday afternoon at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium, with the winner taking ownership of the Keg of Nails for the next twelve months
This Saturday afternoon the University of Louisville
will suit up against a rival that it has faced more than any other program in the school's football history and despite the recent domination of the series by the seventh-ranked Cardinals, it is actually Cincinnati
that holds an eight game advantage in the overall series. However, while the Bearcats hold the edge in the series, the Cardinals have claimed seven of the last eight meetings and are a perfect 3-0 under head coach Bobby Petrino
Just as the Governor's Cup has remained in the same location since Petrino took over the reigns of the U of L program, the Keg of Nails, which is awarded to the winner of the annual game between the long-time rivals, has remained locked inside a trophy case in the Schnellenberger Football Complex.
"We take a lot of pride in that," said junior quarterback Brian Brohm. "That's a rivalry game that goes back pretty far and we want to win all those types of games."
While not viewed by some Cardinal fans as a major football rival, U of L head coach Bobby Petrino said that's not the case for the members of his team.
U of L has won 7 of the last 8
meetings against UC
"It's always been an intense rivalry," Petrino said. "It's always a game that is easy to 'get up' for. I know we don't have any problem motivating our team and I know they don't have any problem motivating their team, so you just have to get on the field and execute."
For the visiting Bearcats (3-3; 0-1), Saturday's game against the Cardinals (5-0; 0-0) will be their third outing against a nationally-ranked opponent this year. Despite falling short on the scoreboard, the improving UC squad played well at Virginia Tech and top-ranked Ohio State.
"(We're) looking forward to the Louisville game," said UC head coach Mark Dantonio. "It's a rival game and it's another opportunity to see where we measure up versus some of the best football teams in the country."
"We look forward to the challenge of trying to get the Keg of Nails back," he continued. "It should be an exciting game for us."
The game, which is being televised nationally on ESPNU, is set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. CardMarch will begin at 1:15 p.m.
After back-to-back sub par performances by the U of L ground attack, this Saturday's game may be just what the Cardinals need to get the running game back on track.
The Cardinals have had two running backs rush for more than 100 yards during the last two meetings between U of L and UC. Michael Bush
and George Stripling did it last year, while Eric Shelton
and Bush both reached the century mark two seasons ago.
While under the direction of fourth-year head coach Bobby Petrino, U of L has had at least one 100-yard rusher against UC.
Two seasons ago an over-confident Cincinnati Bearcat team visited Papa John's Cardinal Stadium to face a then seventh-ranked U of L squad and proceeded to stomp on the Cardinal bird logo at midfield. The Cardinals scored 63 points before the Bearcats could find the end zone. Louisville won 70-7.