The time has come for the battle of the bluegrass, and though it may not hold much weight outside state lines this year, it means a great deal in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The Kentucky backfield started hot Saturday against Charlotte and never looked back. Jojo Kemp and Stanley “Boom” Williams both surpassed the 100-yard mark and combined for five touchdowns. The Wildcats need to get those two into the mix early against Louisville.

Louisville is a better passing team than they are a rushing team. So CB Chris Westry and the  Kentucky secondary must play well against a Cardinals receiving corps with four players with at least a pair of TDs.

The Wildcats should expect to see both Lamar Jackson and Kyle Bolin at quarterback for Louisville. Jackson has a skill set which could give the ‘Cats fits. Jackson already has 548 yards on the ground and seven TDs.

The Cardinals lost on Saturday to Pittsburgh after winning four straight. Kentucky is fresh off a desperately needed victory. Granted, the victory was against Charlotte, but it has to give the Wildcats a boost.

The game also served as a warmup for redshirt freshman QB Drew Barker. Coach Mark Stoops will need to figure out a way to get Barker going early in the game with short throws to give him the confidence to take a stab down field, should the opportunity arise.

Coach Mark Stoops may be on the hot seat, but a win on Saturday would qualify Kentucky for a bowl game and relieve some of the pressure.


Top returning player, offense: James Quick, Jr., WR — Quick is averaging 14.7 yards per-catch with four TDs. He should surpass the 500-yard mark for the second straight season against the ‘Cats on Saturday.

Top returning player, defense: Trumaine Washington, Soph., CB — Washington comes into the game with a team-high four interceptions. Washington is only 5-foot-10, but his physicality and speed should make him a tough matchup, even for Kentucky’s taller receivers.

Top returning player, special teams: John Wallace, Sr., K — Wallace moved into the top spot on the school’s all-time scoring list this season, passing Cardinal legend Arthur Carmody. Wallace has made 14 of 19 field-goal attempts.