Monday, August 30, 2010

It's Kentucky Vs. Louisville Football Week!

I hate these signs. Crap or get off the pot.

September 4th is only a few days away and the anticipation is about to reach it's climax. Both teams have questions surrounding them and both teams have high expectations from fans. Both coach Joker Phillips and Charlie Strong gave less than stunning reviews to their respective teams after their final scrimmages. Both of them saying they were embarrassed at their performances and if they would have been playing in a real game then they would have lost. By a lot.

That's college coaching 101. Neither guy is going to say their team is going to beat the daylights out of the other and that they have the best bunch in the land. That would be stupid and just set fans up for a huge let down. Plus, they don't want their players getting egos and thinking they are world beaters.

Here are some observations for both teams:

  • For Kentucky to Win- It all starts and finishes with their offensive line. The guys up front are huge and deep (that's what she said) but inexperienced. There is only one returning starter but Joker Phillips said that they are the most improved bunch on the field. If they give Locke, Cobb and company holes and time to develop plays, Louisville's undersized defense could be exposed for some big gains.

  • For Louisville to Win- Their speed on defense could prove to be troublesome for the Cats offensive line. Strong will have to utilize the quickness and the blitz to try and create confusion. The UofL defensive front is way undersized but the linebackers and the defensive backs could be the difference maker.

  • Let's Talk Quarterbacks- Neither team is thrilled about the starting quarterback. Mike Hartline and Adam "Abe" Froman are not what one would call "fan favorites". Hartline has the edge in experience in the series. He is 2-0 as a starter and 3-0 as a Wildcat. Froman was, how can we put this lightly, terrible, awful, bad last year. The difference is that the Cats are deep at QB. If Hartline struggles then Morgan Newton can come in and be very effective. Randall Cobb also runs plays at QB and has a decent arm as well. The Cards, not so much. Burke stinks, Stein is short and Dominique Brown may be the wave of the future but he is a freshman. Don't expect him to play a lot but expect him on the field. I think UofL wants him to be their Cobb. Also, expect to see Newton in the game regardless if Hartline looks like Dan Marino. Also expect to see A TON of Cobb in the Wildcat.

  • Running Backs? We both got 'em. In Spades- If there is one position that both teams are deep and experienced it is at the running back position. The Cats have the super fast senior Derrick Locke with his break away speed. They also have bruiser Moncell Allen and a sophomore that has been turning heads since spring practice, Donald Russell. Cobb also runs running back in the Wildcat formation. For Louisville expect Bilal Powell and Victor Anderson to split carries. Don't believe me? Charlie Strong has stated as much and called Powell, "the face of Cardinal football". But, as I stated earlier, the offensive lines will be the key. UK has 15 bodies while the Cards have only 10. UK gave up the least amount of sacks last season in the SEC with 4 starters gone but most of the group at least played in a game last year. Louisville's O-Line gave up the most sacks in the Big East last year with a higher number returning.

  • Emotional Edge?-Ok, we have all heard it. The Cards are going to be fired up. First game for Strong, first game in the new expanded stadium, Cardinal Strong statements plastered all around town. But it's not like UK won't be fired up either. It's Joker's turn as head coach and this game means more to him than it does for Strong. Joker has worked just as hard to get where he is and he expects just as much out of his players. It's not like Strong has the market cornered on emotion and getting fired up. If the Cards lose expect Strong to get a pass because of the talent level of his team and the last three horrible seasons. If the Cats lose expect the criticism to come swift and harsh for Phillips. He has been there, he knows the players and this is the Louisville game we are talking about. The emotional aspect is a push in my book.

  • Final Prediction-I think the weakest part on both teams is the D-Line. The linebackers are about even but the defensive backs are supposed to be a strong part of the Kentucky defense. The Cats will over power the Cards D-line and get big games from the running backs and from Randall Cobb. The special teams for UK also have an edge. Final score: UK 27-UofL 17.

That about does it. At least half of the Sportsthat crew will be tailgating at Papa John's and some of us will be actually in the stadium. Yours truly is still waiting to hear about tickets. Expect a full report on the activities. Drunk and sober.

That's about as fair and balanced as I have ever been. You're welcome.


  1. speechless. Boogie that might be your best article yet.....Balanced...fair and insightful. Its going to get a whole lot of ugly soon...nice that you didnt get muddy first. As always...GO CARDS!!

  2. Thanks! I'm not a jerk ALL the time. Just 90% of it.