Wildcats Complete Regular Season with In-State Foe
Fresh off a much-needed bye week to recharge, the University of Kentucky football team will complete its regular season against in-state foe No. 24 Louisville on Saturday at noon ET with hopes to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2010.
|Kentucky at Louisville|
|Sat., Nov. 29 - 12:00 p.m. ET
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
Game Notes: UK | UL
Radio: UK Sports Network
Live Video via WatchESPN
|UK||2014 Team Stats||UL|
|23.1||Kickoff returns (avg)||22.3|
|42.3||Punt returns (avg)||34.4|
|28:39||Time of possession/game||33:10|
|35%||Third down conversion||38%|
|38%||Fourth down conversion||56%|
|401.0||Total yards allowed/game||290.2|
|201.0||Rush yards allowed/game||88.5|
|200.0||Pass yards allowed/game||201.7|
The Wildcats’ bye week came at a good time as UK had played eight consecutive weeks leading up to the bye, including five games against opponents either ranked or receiving votes in The Associated Press poll. Kentucky is one of three teams in the Southeastern Conference that played eight or more consecutive games without a bye week this season, while UK’s was the only one that came in the middle of the season.
Kentucky leads the all-time series with Louisville 14-12, including a 6-4 advantage in games played in Louisville. The Wildcats have won two of the last three meetings at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
Cat Scratches: UK long on motivation entering season finale at Louisville
Patrick Towles emerged from practice on Tuesday without his customary red jersey.
At this late stage of the season, it's almost unheard of for a coach to allow his quarterback to be hit in practice. So was Mark Stoops trying something drastic before Kentucky's season finale?
No, it turns out. It's just Louisville week.
"No red in this facility this week," Towles said.
With UK (5-6) set to travel to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium for a matchup with the No. 22 Cardinals (8-3) at noon ET on Saturday, Towles and his fellow quarterbacks decided in a walkthrough they wanted no part of wearing their archrivals' color. With the Ft. Thomas, Ky., native set to start against Louisville for the first time, it just wouldn't feel right. ... read the full preview
Coming off a win at Notre Dame last Saturday, Louisville enters the regular season finale with a 8-3 record, including a 5-3 mark in its first year in the ACC. UL is 4-1 at home this season and 4-2 on the road. The Cardinals are 3-0 against non-conference foes this season, taking down Murray State, FIU and Notre Dame.
Louisville is averaging 31.5 points per game this season behind 389.4 yards of total offense. Reggie Bonnafon is leading the UL offense after fellow quarterback Will Gardner sustained a season-ending injury. Bonnafon is completing over 50 percent of his passes for 842 yards and five touchdowns. Brandon Radcliff leads the team with 581 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, while Eli Rogers has 35 receptions for 383 yards and three touchdowns. DeVante Parker, who missed time with an injury and has played in only the last five games, has 29 catches for 555 yards, a 19.1-yard average per catch and two touchdowns.
The Louisville defense has limited opponents to just 18.7 points per game. The Cardinals are holding opponents to 290.2 yards of total offense a game, including just 88.5 rushing yards per game and 201.7 passing yards per game. The Cards lead the nation in pass interceptions with 23 pickoffs. James Sample leads the team with 69 tackles, including three interceptions and five pass breakups, while Keith Kelsey has 68 tackles. Lorenzo Mauldin leads the team in tackles for loss with 13, while Sheldon Rankins has a team-best seven sacks. Gerod Holliman leads the nation with 13 interceptions, including one returned for a TD.
Corvin Lamb has a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for UL.