GAMEDAY: UK vs Louisville

Raymond Sanders

Everything you need to know about Saturday's Governor's Cup rivalry game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinals.

KENTUCKY vs. LOUISVILLE
Saturday, Noon ET
Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, KY.

TV • ESPN
Play-by-Play Beth Mowins
Analyst Joey Galloway
Sideline Paul Carcaterra

RADIO • UK IMG SPORTS NETWORK
Play-by-Play Tom Leach
Analyst Jeff Piecoro
Sideline Dick Gabriel

SATELLITE RADIO
Channel 98 – Sirius
Channel 199 – XM

KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Record: 1-1, 0-0 Southeastern Conference
Ranking: Not ranked
Last game: W, 41-7 vs. Miami (Ohio) (H)
Coach: Mark Stoops (Iowa, 1989)
Record: 1-1 (First season)
at UK: 1-1 (First season)
vs. UL: 0-0

LOUISVILLE CARDINALS:
Record: 2-0, 0-0 American Athletic Conference
Ranking: No. 7 (AP), No. 7 (ESPN/USA Today)
Last game: W, 44-7, vs. EKU (H)
Coach: Charlie Strong (Central Arkansas, 1983)
Record: 27-14 (Fourth season)
at UL: 27-14 (Fourth season)
vs. UK: 2-1

Series Record:
Overall: UK leads series 14-11
In Lexington: UK leads series 8-7
Last Meeting: Louisville def. UK 32-14 at Papa John Cardinal Stadium in Louisville

KENTUCKY SCHEDULE:
8/31 vs. WKU [ESPNews] (Nashville, Tenn.) L, 26-35
9/7 Miami (Ohio) [Fox South] W, 41-7
9/14 Louisville [ESPN] Noon
9/28 Florida* TBA
10/5 at South Carolina* TBA
10/12 Alabama* TBA
10/24 at Mississippi State* [ESPN] 7:30 p.m.
11/2 Alabama State TBA
11/9 Missouri* TBA
11/16 at Vanderbilt* TBA
11/23 at Georgia* TBA
11/30 Tennessee* TBA

Note: all times Eastern and subject to change
* SEC game

LOUISVILLE SCHEDULE:
9/1 vs. Ohio W, 49-7
9/7 vs. EKU W, 44-7
9/14 at Kentucky Noon
9/21 vs. FIU Noon
10/5 at Temple* TBA
10/10 vs. Rutgers* 7:30 p.m.
10/18 vs. UCF* TBA
10/26 at USF* TBA
11/8 at Connecticut* 8:30 p.m.
11/16 vs. Houston* TBA
11/23 vs. Memphis* TBA
12/5 at Cincinnati* 7:30 p.m.

* AAC game

WILDCAT KEYS TO THE GAME:
When Kentucky has the ball… The winner of the Governor's Cup has consistently ran the ball better than its opponent. That could be a huge key to the Wildcats' upset hopes. UK comes into the game having rushed for 216 and 262 yards in its first two games. If the Kentucky O-Line can establish the line of scrimmage and Raymond Sanders, Jonathan George and JoJo Kemp can find ways to keep the chains moving, that means the more time Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater spends on the sideline and watching like the rest of us. It may not win style points like an all-out "Air Raid" assault would, but it's likely UK's best chance of winning. Don't underestimate the value of the trump card known as Jalen Whitlow, either. His ability to run the ball from the quarterback position has given the UofL staff reason for concern in the week leading up to the game. If the Cats don't fall behind early, the staff will be able to stick with its plan of rotating Whitlow with Max Smith frequently to keep the Cards off-balance.

When Louisville has the ball… Kentucky won't likely face another passing combination like Bridgewater and his favorite target, DeVante Parker, all season. Considering the Cats have yet to face an SEC opponent, that's saying a lot. Bridgewater has completed 77 percent of his passes for 752 yards and nine touchdowns with only one interception this season. He's big, tough and athletic. Although not a scrambler, he's got terrific mobility in the pocket and can keep plays alive until he finds a breakdown in the coverage. He's often looking for Parker, who has caught nine passes for 207 yards and three TDs this season. In order for UK to have any shot at pulling an upset, the Cats must get consistent pressure on Bridgewater without selling out on the back end. That means the D-Line of Donte Rumph, Mister Cobble, Za'Darius Smith and Alvin "Bud" Dupree need to deliver one of their best performances of the season.

MILESTONE WATCH:
Senior running back Raymond Sanders has 1,215 career rushing yards and needs 35 more to tie Rod Stewart for 25th place on the UK career rushing list… Senior running back Jonathan George has 776 career rushing yards and needs just 224 more to become the 34th player in school history with 1,000 career rushing yards… Junior defensive end Bud Dupree has 10 career sacks, needing seven more to tie for fourth most all-time in school history.

ON THIS DAY IN UK HISTORY:
Saturday marks just the third time in program history that Kentucky has played on Sept. 14. The Cats hold 1-0-1 record on this day. The first time UK played on this date was in 1975, when UK knocked off Virginia Tech, 27-8. In 1986, the Cats tied Rutgers, 16-16, one of 44 ties in program history.

NOTES:
• Saturday marks the 26th meeting in school history. The two teams first met in 1912 and have met annually since 1994. Kentucky has won four of the last six meetings in the series, but Louisville has won the last two. UK leads the overall series 14-11

• Biggest UK win: 73 (73-0) in 1922 in Lexington… Biggest Louisville win: 31 (59-28) in 2006 in Louisville… Games decided by 7 points or less: Kentucky leads 5-4.

• The Governor's Cup was created in 1994 as the trophy for the winner of the Kentucky-Louisville game. Donated by The Kroger Company at a cost of $23,000, 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.

• UK ranks high in several national statistical rankings offensively, including 16th in total offense with 547.0 yards a game, 32nd in rushing offense with 239.0 yards a game and 25th in passing offense with 308 yards a game. Quarterbacks Maxwell Smith and Jalen Whitlow have combined to rank 23rd in passing efficiency.

• Defensively, UK ranks second nationally in third-down conversion percentage defense only allowing teams to convert 11.5% of third-down chances. UK also ranks 20th in redzone defense limiting opponents to five scores in eight trips into the UK redzone. The Wildcats also rank 18th in the NCAA in sacks per game with 3.0, 21st in passing yards allowed and 30th in total defense.

• Kentucky is beginning a stretch of four games against opponents currently ranked in The Associated Press Top 25: No. 7 Louisville, No. 18 Florida, No. 13 South Carolina and No. 1 Alabama.

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