Published September 1, 2010 - 5:56am
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The Kentucky Wildcats play their first game this Saturday under new head coach Joker Phillips. It will be for the Governor’s Cup as they take on in-state rival, the Louisville Cardinals. The game will be played at Louisville in Papa John’s Stadium. Below are 5 things you need to know about this big rivalry matchup:
1. Joker vs. Charlie: As I mentioned, this will be the first game of Joker Phillips’ head coaching career. It will also be the first game for Louisville’s new head coach, Charlie Strong. They have battled as assistant coaches while Joker was the Cats’ offensive coordinator and Charlie has won every matchup against him as the defensive coordinator of the Florida Gators. Needless to say, Charlie does not have the talent in Louisville that he had in the Swamp. Joker is a class act and I think you will enjoy this link to a few videos of him commenting on the UofL game.
2. Starting Quarterbacks: The quarterback situation will be interesting to watch for both teams. Louisville waited until recently to name their starting QB, Adam Froman. They went with experience and named the senior. As you know from our previous articles on Kentucky’s quarterback decision, the Cats chose senior Mike Hartline. Our writers think all Kentucky fans should embrace Mike. I doubt that either of these quarterbacks will take all the snaps in this game. For Kentucky, it will be interesting to see if Morgan Newton and Ryan Mossakowski get much playing time. How will the quarterbacks for both teams play?
3. Kentucky’s Offensive Line: This will be the big question mark for the Cats this year. Losing 4 offensive starters on the O-Line will hurt any team, especially one that plays in the SEC. The offensive line this season will be: Billy Joe Murphy and Chandler Burden at Tackles, Stuart Hines and Larry Warford at Guards, and Matt Smith at Center. While UK is not going against NFL caliber talent on the Cards’ defensive front, it will be a big first test for this group. Will they allow any sacks? What about holding penalties? And the main question is: will they open holes for Derrick Locke? If they do their job, he’ll be off to the races and this game will be over at halftime.
4. The Randall Cobb Train: This young man has been carrying the team since his freshman year. He does it all and has a knack for finding the endzone. Sports Illustrated ran a great article on Randall Cobb as the face of Kentucky football, and in it he said, “I feel like I’ve gained some respect from some of the coaches around the league, but I still haven’t been that impact player that I need to be. If I want to get their respect, I have to go out and earn it, I have to take it. That’s left me with a lot of hunger going into this season.” I’m excited to see that hunger out on the field this Saturday. How many times will he score against the Cards?
5. Kentucky Winning Streak: Kentucky has 3 straight wins against Louisville, beginning with clutch play in 2007 when the Cardinals were ranked #9 in the country. I had the privilege of being on the field for that game as a scout for the Capital One Bowl. It was the best football experience of my life. Here’s a photo before all the excitement happened. To read more about this streak and the storylines heading into this matchup, check out this article from A Sea of Blue. Also, below the picture is a chart of all 19 meetings between these two teams. Kentucky leads the series with 10 wins.
Individual Game Results of Kentucky (vs Louisville), 1915-2009