While the sports rivalries in the bluegrass state are normally restricted to the basketball court, this Saturday features a matchup between in-state rivals Kentucky and Louisville. While Kentucky holds the overall lead in the series, the Cardinals have won the last three meetings between the two. Saturday’s matchup between the two probably won’t buck any trends.
Kentucky is preparing to conclude year two under head coach Mark Stoops, and while its overall record is 5-6, the Wildcats have made huge strides this season. Kentucky lost a triple overtime thriller at Florida that it probably should have won, but followed with two SEC victories over Vanderbilt and South Carolina.
The Wildcats followed those performances with a five-game losing streak, but has played well until recently. Two consecutive blowouts against Georgia and Tennessee don’t bode well for the Wildcats this Saturday, but expect them to come out with a lot of fight.
No. 24 Louisville has also proven to be capable of competing with the nation’s elite as it showcased in the first half against Jameis Winston and Florida State. The Cardinals were up 21-7 but eventually let that lead slip away. Kentucky brings in an offense capable of scoring 30+, but the Louisville defense is ranked 14th in the country allowing only 18.7 points per game.
All signs point to another Louisville victory, except the fact that Kentucky needs this win to become bowl eligible. Stoops should have his players ready to make one final push at a bowl game. The Wildcats haven’t been to a bowl game since 2010, and are looking to turn things around to build some momentum for next season.
While this hopeful story sounds nice, don’t expect the Bobby Petrino and the Cardinals to let that happen.
Prediction Louisville 35, Kentucky 17