Despite not being able to stop an unbeaten Florida State team at home about a month ago, the Louisville Cardinals are still considered one of the best teams in the ACC. Although this may be a far bigger rivalry on the basketball court, the Kentucky Wildcats will travel to Louisville to take on the Cardinals in what looks to be a bit of a mismatch.
Louisville might not have the most explosive offense in the nation, but the 49th-ranked scoring attack seems to get the job done against a weak slate of teams in the ACC. The Cardinals have been slightly better through the air than on the ground with Will Gardener at quarterback, passing for 1,669 yards and 12 touchdowns with just three interceptions. Gardner’s favorite target has been DeVante Parker who leads the team with 555 yards and two touchdowns on 29 catches. James Quick is close behind with 31 catches for 459 yards and three scores while Eli Rogers leads the team in receptions with 35 to go along with 383 yards and three touchdowns. Brandon Radcliff leads all rushers with 581 yards and nine touchdowns while Michael Dyer is a secret weapon, racking up 475 yards and four scores in limited action.
Kentucky is nearly the same as Louisville when it comes to being better through the air than in the run game, ranking 54th in passing yards and 79th in rushing yards per game. The Wildcats’ Patrick Towles has been impressive this season in his first year as a starter, passing for 2,542 yards, 14 touchdowns and just seven interception, hitting his favorite target, Ryan Timmons, 45 times for 536 yards and two TDs. Timmons may be the favorite target in terms of receptions, but Javess Blue has the most yards per catch (19.1) of any receiver on the team. On the year, Blue has 27 catches for 516 yards and a team-high five touchdowns. The run game is led by Stanley Williams‘ 362 yards and three touchdowns, but Braylon Heard, Jojo Kemp and Michael Horton all have over 300 yards on the ground as well.
Defensively, the Wildcats haven’t been all-too-impressive this season, ranking 72nd in total yards allowed and a less impressive 89th in points allowed per game. Louisville has been much better, ranking 14th in points allowed and a very impressive seventh nationally in total yards allowed per contest.
Kentucky will travel to Louisville to take on the Cardinals at 12 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 29. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN2.
PREDICTION: Kentucky 20, Louisville 34
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.