Published September 8, 2010 - 5:59am
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The Kentucky Wildcats got off to an impressive start last week against in-state rival Louisville and won 23-16 on the road. This week, Kentucky looks to take total control of the state when Western Kentucky travels to Lexington. Here are five things you need to know about Kentucky vs Western Kentucky:
1. Joker Phillips has brought a new identity to this team compared to his predecessor Rich Brooks. Kentucky played turnover-free football against Louisville and even won the toss and elected to receive – where Brooks would have kicked the ball off and let his defense settle in. This is the Joker’s team now, and with his first victory against rival Louisville in the Governor’s Cup, he looks to have all the momentum.
2. Kentucky has legitimate play makers to contend in the SEC. Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke are the main playmakers for the Kentucky offense. Cobb had 4 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown while Locke had 23 carries, 104 yards and two touchdowns. Tennessee is still wondering how Cobb got away. Mike Hartline proved steady and in obvious control of the offense last week as well, going 17-26 with 217 yards passing and no turnovers. On defense at linebacker, Danny Trevathan recorded a game-high 11 tackles with 9 solo stops for the Wildcats.
3. Western Kentucky played on the road last week and got waxed by current Big 12 conference member Nebraska 49-10. The Hilltoppers gave up 536 total yards to Nebraska. The Wildcat offense is licking their chops to get their chance this week.
4. Kentucky is arguably as good or better than the Andre Woodson led unit in 2007. With Derrick Locke, Randall Cobb and company, Kentucky will give teams fits in the SEC this year. In 2007, Kentucky had an 8-5 record. Can the Wildcats surpass the 8-win mark this season? It remains to be seen.
5. Western Kentucky running back Bobby Rainey looks to be Western Kentucky’s main threat. He had 30 carries for 155 yards and a touchdown last week. In 2009 as a sophomore, Mr. Rainey had 209 rushing attempts and gained 1,334 yards and 7 touchdowns. The Wildcat defense will have to stop Rainey first.