With the 2012 college football season set to kickoff in T-minus 46 days, we thought we’d go ahead and take a gander at the major opponents(sorry Kent State, Samford, and Western) on Kentucky’s schedule. We start out with one other than the Cat’s hated in-state rivals, the Louisville Cardinals.
RB Victor Anderson, WR Josh Bellamy, TE Josh Chichester, DE Greg Scruggs, DE William Savoy, MLB Dexter Heyman
QB Teddy Bridgewater, WR Preston Parker, WR DeVante Parker, CB Adrian Bushell, SS Hakeem Smith
Top Offensive Player:
Teddy Bridgewater: The true freshman came in and had a solid 2011 season for the Cardinals, completing 64.5% of his passes for 2129 yards with 14 TDs and 12 picks.
All indications coming out of Spring practice were that Bridgewater has improved tremendously, as he completed 19 of 21 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns inLouisville’s spring game. He’ll have to improve on his decision making going into 2012, as his 12 picks and 33 sacks cost the Cardinals some close games that prevented them from potentially winning the Big East.
Top Defensive player:
Hakeem Smith: Was named first team All-Big East at safety after he tied for second on the team with 84 tackles while leading the team with nine pass breakups, forced three fumbles, and had one interceptions. Smith selected to Jim Thorpe and Bronko Nagurski Award Watch Lists.
After perennial Big East powerWest Virginiabolted for the Big 12, the Cardinals enter the 2012 season as heavy favorites to win the Big East outright and earn the automatic BCS Bowl berth. After being relatively young last season, UL returns 8 starters on offense and 9 on defense. Still, this is a team that finished 7-6 last year with losses to Marshall and FIU, but found their groove in Big East play, going 5-2 down the stretch with a road win against Orange Bowl champions West Virginia. If the Cardinals can maintain that second-half consistency, they’ll runaway with the Big East and likely finish the year in the top-25, something they haven’t done since the days of Bobby Petrino.