UK Welcomes In-State Rival Louisville to Commonwealth
Sept. 16, 2011
After securing its sixth consecutive home opener with a 27-13 win over Central Michigan, Kentucky continues its three-game homestand by hosting in-state rival Louisville on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
Kentucky is looking to win its fifth-consecutive Governor's Cup trophy with a win against Louisville, while the Cardinals will try to take home the coveted trophy for the first time since defeating UK in 2006.
Kentucky, which has started 2-0 for the fifth-consecutive season, has been led by an experienced and physical defense so far in 2011. The defensive unit has only allowed 16 points in two games and has held both opponents this season scoreless in the second half. The UK defense has posted three players with 10-plus tackles in both games led by senior Danny Trevathan with a SEC-high 26 tackles, three tackles for loss, one interception and one pass breakup.
Offensively, Kentucky performed well in the second half last week against CMU, totaling 250 yards total offense in the last two quarters. True freshman tailback Josh Clemons has been impressive on the UK rushing attack, leading the Wildcats in rushing with 25 carries for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Junior wide receiver La'Rod King paces the UK wide receiving corps with two touchdown receptions this season.
Cat Scratches: Aggressive Cardinal defense to test Newton, UK offense
In the second half of a 27-13 win over Central Michigan, the Kentucky Wildcats put together their best 30 minutes of football so far this season. Behind a rushing attack that rolled up 230 yards and an aggressive defense that allowed no points over the final three quarters, UK moved to 2-0.
As the Wildcats get to battle for the Governor’s Cup against rival Louisville, UK will face off against a similarly aggressive Cardinal defense that will look to handcuff the rushing attack that paced Kentucky last weekend. According to head coach Joker Phillips, Morgan Newton and the passing game are going to need to take a step forward if the Wildcats are to win their fifth-consecutive game against Louisville.
Louisville enters Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday after dropping its second game of the season last Friday to Florida International. The Cardinals sit at 1-1 on the season, with its win a season-opening victory against Murray State in Louisville.
U of L has been led offensively by junior quarterback Will Stein, who has completed over 60 percent of his passes for 575 yards and four touchdowns on the young season. Senior tight end Josh Chichester leads the Cardinals in receiving with eight receptions for 150 yards, while freshman wide receiver Michaelee Harris has caught seven passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. Freshman wide receiver DeVante Parker leads the team with two touchdown receptions.
Senior running back Victor Anderson and sophomore running back Jeremy Wright have done most of the rushing for the Cardinals this season, with Anderson leading the way with 22 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown. Wright has 29 carries this season for 85 yards.
Defensively, U of L boasts four players in double-figure tackles for the season, including senior linebacker Dexter Heyman, who leads the team with 18 stops and 3.5 tackles for loss. As a team, Louisville has 14 tackles for loss on the season with three sacks, three interceptions and six pass breakups.
Last Time vs. Louisville
Kentucky used three touchdown drives in the first half, jumping ahead of in-state rival Louisville 20- 3 under first-year head coach Joker Phillips, then held on to defeat the Cardinals 23-16 in the first game in the newly renovated Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
The Wildcats received the opening kickoff and wasted no time getting on the board, scoring on a two-play 70-yard drive. La'Rod King caught a 38-yard pass on the first play and Derrick Locke blazed 32 yards for the touchdown, giving UK a 6-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, senior quarterback Mike Hartline led a 10-play, 92-yard drive capped by Locke's second touchdown run of the game, this time from one-yard out, to give UK a 13-0 lead.
Louisville got on the board in the second quarter with a field goal. UK responded when wide receiver Randall Cobb lined up as the quarterback in the "WildCobb" formation and rushed 51 yards untouched down the sideline to give the Cats their biggest lead of the day at 20-3.
Louisville's defense held tough in the second half, allowing three points to the Wildcats when Tydlacka nailed a 41-yard field goal in UK's opening drive of the second half. The Cardinals answered quickly to the Wildcats' field goal when Bilal Powell rushed 80 yards to score the Cardinals' lone touchdown on the day and cut the UK lead to 10.
Louisville's next two possessions ended in turnovers as junior college transfer Mychal Bailey gathered an interception and Louisville native Ridge Wilson recovered a fumble. In the fourth quarter, Louisville marched 71 yards down the field, converting several third- and fourth-down conversions to tack on a 27-yard field goal from Chris Philpott and get the game within 23-16. However, the Wildcats took the kickoff with 3:16 to play and tallied three first downs to run out the clock.
The victory was the fourth in a row for the Wildcats over the Cardinals as Hartline became the first starting quarterback to go 3-0 in Governor's Cup history. Hartline completed 17 of 26 passes for 217 yards. Locke reached the century mark by rushing for 104 yards and two touchdowns.