Governor’s Cup preview
by The Associated Press
No. 7 Louisville (2-0) at Kentucky (1-1), Noon (ESPN)
Line: Louisville by 13½.
Series record: Kentucky, 14-11.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Louisville seeks its third straight win over in-state rival Kentucky and its second consecutive 3-0 start. Kentucky begins a four-game stretch against ranked teams over the next five weeks aiming to beat its first top-25 opponent since October 2010 (South Carolina).
Louisville junior QB and Heisman Trophy candidate Teddy Bridgewater will try to use all of his receivers against a Kentucky secondary allowing just 147 yards per game and seeking its first interception. Turnovers and sacks might be hard to come by considering Bridgewater has thrown just one interception, been sacked once and completed 76.7% of his passes. He has targeted eight receivers in both games en route to 752 yards and 9 touchdowns. The Cardinals’ No. 5 passing game is averaging 406.5 yards per game and 16.9 per completion.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Louisville: MLB Preston Brown will lead a Cardinals defense aiming to shut down Kentucky’s run game and the Wildcats’ QB combination of Maxwell Smith and Jalen Whitlow. The senior leads the team with 17 tackles, including eight last week against Eastern Kentucky with two sacks and a forced fumble.
Kentucky: Smith and Whitlow were a formidable QB tandem against Miami (Ohio). Smith got the Wildcats’ Air Raid 2.0 offense going by passing for 310 yards with three long touchdowns in his first start in nearly a year. Whitlow completed 10 of 12 attempts for 103 yards, adding a 9-yard TD run while rushing for 48.
FACTS & FIGURES
This rivalry will become the season finale for both programs starting next season. … Safeties Hakeem Smith and Calvin Pryor have both of Louisville’s interceptions. … Kentucky’s 675 yards last week were third-most in school history and the highest since 1998.
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