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Kentucky Looks to Play Spoiler

Kentucky Looks to Play Spoiler against Louisville: The Wildcats look to upend a magical season from their rivals just up Interstate 64.

Looking to End on a High Note

For a second straight season the Kentucky football team is limping towards the finish line. Once undefeated, it now sits at 6-5. On Saturday they have a huge opportunity to end a disappointing season on a positive note. The Wildcats will head up I-64 for a rivalry battle with the Louisville Cardinals. Let’s preview the game and give you a score prediction as Kentucky looks to play spoiler.

Same Old Situation

During the Kentucky losing streak, a few things continue to hamper its chances of winning. Against South Carolina the Cats once again got off to a slow start falling behind 10-0. While they rallied to take the lead they couldn’t stop the Gamecocks on third down. Finally, they squandered three chances to win late due to a punt, an interception and lastly turning over the ball on downs.

Carolina was 106th in the country giving up 413 yards a game and 96th in scoring defense allowing 29 per contest. Kentucky only mustered 293 yards and 14 points. A lot of that had to do with season-long issues of penalties, turnovers, and missed opportunities.

On Saturday it’ll face one of the best defenses in the country. Let’s now take a look at the Louisville football team.

Scouting the Cardinals

So far in 2023, the return of former Louisville great Jeff Brohm back home couldn’t have gone any better. The Cardinals currently sit 10-1 overall and 7-1 in the ACC. The only blemish on their record is a 38-21 loss at Pittsburgh back on October 14th. As a result of their strong season, the Cards clinched a berth in the ACC title game next week against Florida State.

On offense, they are led by quarterback Jack Plummer. For the year the senior has thrown for 2,710 yards and 19 touchdowns. A week ago he threw for 308 yards and three scores in a 38-31 win at Miami. The main man in the backfield is Jawhar Jordan who has rushed for 1,009 yards and 11 touchdowns. In addition, he’s hauled in 15 receptions for 200 yards and another score. He ran for 145 yards last year against the Cats. When Plummer throws the ball his favorite target is Jamari Thrash who has 50 catches for 741 yards and six touchdowns.

Louisville’s defense ranks 17th in the nation giving up 18 points a game. Furthermore, they only allow 317 yards and have 18 takeaways. The unit is led by linebacker TJ Quinn, who has 74 tackles, two-and-a-half for a loss, a half sack, and an interception. Another player to watch is safety Devin Neal.

Now that we’ve looked at both teams let’s give you some historical perspective of the “Battle Of The Bluegrass.”

Series History

Saturday marks the 35th time Kentucky and Louisville have met on the gridiron. Between 1912 and 1924 the schools played six times with the Wildcats winning all six. It was 70 years before they met again.

Since 1994 when the series was renewed Louisville leads 15-13. However, UK is on a four-game winning streak with an average score of 45-14. A year ago the Cats beat the Cards 26-13. Last year’s game turned out the be the final for Scott Satterfield, who headed up I-71 to coach Cincinnati.

Now that we’ve previewed both teams and given you some history it’s prediction time as Kentucky looks to play spoiler.

Who Wins on Saturday?

The game is a battle of teams heading in opposite directions. Kentucky started 5-0 and has gone 1-5 since. On the other sideline, Louisville is having its best year since going 12-1 a decade ago. One thing Brohm has been good at is winning rivalry games. At Western Kentucky, he was 2-1 against Middle Tennessee. He was 4-1 at Purdue against Indiana.

Mark Stoops is 5-4 all-time against the Cardinals and has won four in a row. In previous years Louisville was trying to play spoiler, this time around it’s the Wildcats. A win over their arch-rival would definitely take some sting out of what’s been a subpar season. In addition, it would hamper the Cards’ major bowl chances. Currently, Last Word has them in the Orange Bowl.

At the end of the day, it’s a rivalry game and each team wants the Governor’s Cup. Kentucky defensive lineman Deone Walker added some fuel with some bulletin board material.

Can a team that’s had trouble with discipline all year keep it under control in a heated match-up? Louisville is a seven-point favorite and has a lot more to play for. Unfortunately for the Big Blue Nation the Cats once again come short trying to make a statement.

Louisville 27-20

Thanks for checking out our preview here at Last Word On College Football as Kentucky looks to play spoiler. We’ll be back after the game with a complete recap.




Photo courtesy: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports


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