Top 5 Reasons Louisville Will Win Against Kentucky
The confidence in the Louisville football program is very high for Cardinal fans especially when it comes to how they match up against their rivals the Wildcats. The fact that the University of Kentucky sent back almost half their ticket allotment, which were bought up by Louisville fans within 19 minutes, shows that Big Blue Nation does not have the same hope in Joker Phillips and the Kentucky football program.
Vegas also has confidence in the Cardinals. According to Vegas.com, Louisville is predicted to win by 14 points over their rivals from Lexington.
As September 2nd becomes closer, I thought I would make a list of the top five reasons why I believe the Cardinals will be keeping the Governor's Cup.
The Cardinals Rushing
Dominique Brown is up tp 230 lbs.
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Louisville had 181 yards rushing last year against Kentucky. All of UofL's running backs are returning this year except Victor Anderson who had 41 yards rushing in last years game. Dominique Brown has had a full year learning how to be a quality running back, he still racked up 91 yards in 14 carries last year against the Wildcats.
If there is one position this year that the Cards won't have to worry about, it is the running back position with Jeremiah Wright, Dominique Brown, Senorise Perry, Corvin Lamb and talented freshman Brandon Radcliff. With a healthier offensive line, the Cardinals have the ability to have a big day on the ground against the Wildcats.
Charlie Strong said of his running backs, “The running back position, there are five running backs, each one of them has a different quality. You look at Dominique Brown, you look at Senorise Perry, you look at Jeremy Wright, you look at Corvin Lamb, and then the young kid (Brandon) Radcliff."
"We have enough guys there. Dominique is big and powerful. Jeremy is a guy that can make you miss. Corvin Lamb is built low to the ground just like Radcliff, where they can run and power run right through guys. You have five very good running backs.”
Teddy Bridgewater has gained 40 lbs. since he has stepped on campus 2 years ago.
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Bridgewater came into last years game as the backup behind Will Stein, but when Stein went down with an injury the talented freshman threw for 2 touchdowns. Teddy has a lot more composure and understanding of the game compared to last season.
Although Bridgewater will not be able to throw it to Michaelee Harris, who is out with a knee injury, he has a lot of other talented wide receivers to throw the ball to. DeVante Parker has become Teddy's deep threat and Eli Rogers and Andrell Smith have shown the ability to make big plays. Kentucky will come into the game with some secondary issues and Bridgewater will be ready.
During Louisville's media day, Coach Strong said of his quarterback, “Looking at the quarterback position, Teddy is continuing to get better each and every day. He continues to make the throws. He is very comfortable in the offense right now. Coach (Shawn) Watson has done a great job, where Teddy has become a student of the game and he understands and commands the offense."
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The Louisville football team loves their coaches, especially Coach Strong. They seem to have a devotion to him that is hard to beat. Coach Strong said at this years Big East media day, “And the nice thing about it, the character of the whole group, they want to please; they want to meet that expectation.”
Vance Bedford said of Strong: "Having the opportunity to coach with a man who truly cares about the young men he coaches is a great motivation for me as a man. What coach Strong has done in a short time in changing the culture at the University of Louisville is rare."
Charlie Strong and the rest of the coaching staff have proven to be winners where ever they are, UofL fans can trust the players will make the adjustments they are asked to make in the game.
No Danny Trevathon or Winston Guy
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Without Danny Trevathan and Winston Guy, Kentucky does not have nearly the defensive power as they did last year. Combined they had 19 tackles and two sacks in last year's game, both of them were flying around the field making plays. I just don't see 330 lbs. Mister Cobble chasing after Charles Gaines or Corvin Lamb who both run close to a 4.3 40 yard-dash.
Trevathan and Guy, who are both on NFL rosters now, were the leaders for the Wilcats defense. UK line backer Avery Williams said, "We lost all three of our linebackers, Winston Guy, Danny Trevathan and Ronnie Sneed and as a linebacker crew, we have to step up, all of us have to step up. We have to be leaders out there, be vocal and we have to make plays. All those people made plays and we have to replace them."
The Wildcats also have several players out in the secondary and have had to move players in different positions. With Devante Parker, Eli Rogers and the rest of the talented wide receiving core it could be an amazing day for Teddy Bridgewater.
Adrian Bushell and Hakeem Smith
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The one place where I believe Louisville has an advantage over anyone they play is these two players. Last year, Adrian Bushell had only been with the team about a month when he played UK, yet he had 11 tackles.
He was one of the players the lifted the Cardinals whenever he entered the game last year. He no has a complete off-season with the coaching staff and has seemed to have become a leader with his teammates.
Defensive coordinator Vance Bedford said of Bushell, “He’s the guy that you have to say, ‘You see that receiver over there? You go talk to him and tell him he can’t get out of the doghouse at all because you’re going to bite him. That’s what we need out of Bushell right now.”
With Kentucky probably going with Max Smith as their starting quarterback, there isn't as much threat of the QB running the ball like there would be with Morgan Newton. Louisville had 6 sacks last year against UK, if the Louisville secondary can keep La'Rod King and the other wide receivers covered, it could be an easy win.