Big Blue Preview: Kentucky vs. Louisville
Info to Know
|Kentucky vs. Louisville | When: Sat., Nov. 26, 3 p.m. ET | Where: Kroger Field, Lexington, Ky. | TV: SEC Network | Radio: UK Sports Network|
Kentucky wraps up the 2022 regular season with the annual Governor’s Cup game against in-state rival Louisville. It will be Senior Day at Kroger Field as 28 Wildcats will be recognized in pregame ceremonies. Game time is 3 p.m. and it will be televised on the SEC Network.
Kentucky enters the game coming off a 16-6 home loss vs. No. 1-ranked Georgia. Louisville has won five of its last six games, including a 25-10 home win over RV/#25 NC State last Saturday.
Kentucky leads the all-time series, 18-15, and the Wildcats won the last three matchups in 2018, ‘19 and ‘21, with no game played during the 2020 season. Louisville leads 15-12 since the Governor’s Cup era began in 1994. UK enters the game with a 19-game win streak against non-conference opponents, the longest active streak in the nation.
Quarterback Will Levis leads the Kentucky offense, completing 65.9 percent of his passes for 2,218 yards and 17 touchdowns. Running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. averages 112 yards per game.
The Kentucky defense is ranked 19th in the nation in scoring defense and total defense. Linebacker D’Eryk Jackson leads the team in tackles with 61 stops.
Cat Scratches: Composure May Be Key for Cats, Cards on Saturday
In the cites of Lexington and Louisville, there will be buzz words tossed about all week relating to the Kentucky-Louisville football rivalry. But UK defensive coordinator Brad White may have cited the most important word of the week.
“It’s going to be about composure,” White said. “And that’s, whether it’s Senior Day, whether it’s rivalry, the team that can stay composed, stay focused on the job at hand and not let their emotions get the best of them, they can let those emotions fuel them but not overtake them.”
The Cats and the Cards meet in the annual Governor’s Cup rivalry on Saturday at Kroger Field. It will be Senior Day for 28 Cats who are playing in their final home game. White has grown especially close to players like Tyrell Ajian, DeAndre Square and Jordan Wright, who have been with White for a long time in Lexington.
“For me, those are guys who, as I grew in this defense, they grew with me,” White said. “It will be an emotional day for me. For all of us, we kind of just have to keep it in check. You’ve emotional Senior Day, a rivalry game, there’s a lot of emotions going on.”
The players know how big this game is. It’s openly talked about within the program…Read More
• Kentucky leads the all-time series 18-15.
• The state rivals play for the Governor’s Cup trophy.
• The Cats have won four of the past five meetings, including three straight.
• UK has won the past three meetings by a combined score of 153-44.
• In those three meetings the Cats have rushed for 1,219 yards, including a school-record 517 in the 45-13 win in 2019. That’s an average of 406.3 rushing yards per contest.
• The 2019 meeting saw Lynn Bowden Jr. rush for 284 yards on 22 attempts. The performance ranks second on UK’s single-game rushing chart.
• In 2016, the Cats secured a thrilling 41-38 last-second victory over the No. 11 Cardinals, ending a five-game losing streak to Louisville in the process.
• The modern version of the Governor’s Cup rivalry began in 1994 after a 70-year hiatus and has been played 26 of the past 27 seasons, with only the pandemic-affected 2020 season causing a one-year pause.
• Biggest UK win: 73 (73-0, 1922)
• Biggest Louisville win: 31 (49-28, 2006)
• Games decided by eight points or less: Kentucky leads 6-5
• The Kentucky roster has 12 players from the city of Louisville TE Izayah Cummings, OLB J.J Weaver, CB Elijah Reed, DB Jackson Schulz, RB La’Vell Wright, FB Jack Varga, LS Jordan Morrow, DT Alex Bascom, DT Richard Bascom, OT John Young, OL Kiyaunta Goodwin and WR Tae Tae Crumes.
• The Louisville roster has no players from Lexington, Kentucky
By the Numbers
Wins in a row by Kentucky against Louisville
Rushing touchdowns by UK quarterback Will Levis in last year’s win over Louisville
Wins by Kentucky in the series against Louisville (the Cards have won 15 times)
Yards passing needed for Will Levis to move into sixth place on Kentucky’s career passing yardage list
Yards rushing needed for Chris Rodriguez Jr. to move into first place on Kentucky’s career rushing yards list