Governor's Cup preview
By Sam Draut
The No. 8 University of Louisville football team cruised through the first two weeks of the season with a
49-7 victory over Ohio and a 44-7 win against Eastern Kentucky.
The Cardinals now turn their attention to 1-1 Kentucky. The heated in-state rivalry adds a new face to
the mix with first year Wildcat head coach Mark Stoops.
Three years ago, U of L head coach Charlie Strong stood in a similar position as Stoops. He was taking
over a program marred with struggles, looking to build a foundation, which could potentially start with a
victory over an in-state rival.
Strong lost his first game against Kentucky 23-16 in 2010, but has since commanded the rivalry. Teddy
Bridgewater showcased his potential in 2011 after coming off the bench to lead the Cardinals to a 24-
17 victory in Lexington. Last year, the U of L had a dominating performance against Kentucky at Papa
John’s Cardinal Stadium, breezing to a 32-14 win.
Despite the attrition the Kentucky football program has faced in the past two years, the Cardinals have
not downplayed the significance of the trip to Commonwealth Stadium.
“It is a tough environment. Their fans are very passionate. You see a lot of blue and a lot of red also in
the stands. Our fans will make the trip down to Lexington. It’s a great feeling being able to play against
an in-state rival,” DeVante Parker said.
As always, the quarterback play can be a defining aspect of the game, on one side, Bridgewater boasts
two victories and a 74.3 completion percentage against the Wildcats, while on the other Kentucky will
likely rotate two quarterbacks during the game.
Sophomores Jalen Whitlow and Maxwell Smith have received the snaps under center for the Wildcats
this year, both with contrasting styles. Whitlow has run for 123 yards and two touchdowns to go along
with 181 passing yards and a 74.1 completion percentage. U of L saw a similar style of play from EKU
quarterback Jared McClain, who ran for 65 yards while throwing for 85.
“EKU’s quarterback wasn’t a pocket passer, he was scrambling around, so this performance of play will
carry onto UK because the guy couldn’t run downfield, he was always forced outside, so this should be
enough practice for us to get ready for UK,” Lorenzo Mauldin said.
Smith, a traditional pocket passer, has thrown for 435 yards and four touchdowns in two games.
“With pocket passers, all we can do is pass rush and we can work on that all week. Coach Hurtt gets
us together on pass rushing and being able to keep the quarterback in the pocket. We can force him
outside to help the defensive ends, the inside guys can push the pocket so he doesn’t have anywhere to
run,” Mauldin said.
Another defining factor of the series is the running game. No team has ever won without leading the
game in rushing yards. Last year, the Cardinals pounded out 219 yards on the ground compared to 93
yards from Kentucky.
Louisville’s rushing game has struggled against EKU, finishing with just 78 yards. The Cardinals are
averaging 138.5 yards per game on the ground compared to Kentucky’s 157.5 yards.
“There’s still stuff we have to work on with the o-line, a few mishaps,” Senorise Perry said.
Kentucky holds the advantage in the overall series record at 14-11, but since the restart of the series in
1994 Louisville holds an 11-8 record against the Wildcats.
U of L looks to extend their current win streak against Kentucky to three games, prior to 2011, both
teams had won four straight in the series, U of L from 2003-06 and Kentucky from 2007-10.
“Right now I have no idea how Kentucky is looking, but on the rivalry there is going to be a lot of
passion. We’ve got a lot of bragging rights on the line, but we’re just going to treat it as another game,”