Breaking down the 2010 football schedule: Louisville


By Kyle

With the lack of football news right now, I figured it would be a good time to start a new series of posts that could get football fans ready for the upcoming season. I’ll break down each game and tell you why Kentucky will win, and why they might not.

Sept. 4 at Louisville

There will be no other game as important as the UofL contest this season. Sure we all like to have bragging rights over our biggest rival, but when you look a little deeper, you see that this contest will not only set the tone for the 2010 season, but could also set the tone for both coaches careers at their respective schools. Charlie Strong is still enjoying the benefits of the honeymoon stage in Louisville and riding a wave of local popularity. The fans were able to overlook the previously touted 2010 signing class fall apart on signing day primarily because the last coach was so inept at everything that the outcome would have only been worse with Kragthorpe. Kentucky coach Joker Phillips doesn’t appear to be receiving the same love from fans as Strong, and it looks like the Head-Coach-In-Waiting tag may have had something to do with it. There is no honeymoon for Phillips at Kentucky and fans have recent memories of a struggling offense after the dynamic 2007 offensive season. Add to all of this the importance of the city of Louisville to both teams recruiting efforts and it’s pretty obvious what is on the line for both programs.

Kentucky will lose if…..
The young cardinals team comes out rearing to go. Playing at home for Charlie Strong’s first game as a head coach gives the players added energy and pumps up the fans to make the Pizza Box sound like a SEC stadium. The Kentucky QB battle rages through camp and into the season and the constant shuffle of players in and out keeps any of the play callers from getting comfortable. The defense shows how young it really is and allows a mediocre Louisville offense to dictate the pace of the game and control possessions. The offensive line shows their inexperience and allows the QB to be pummeled. Kentucky doesn’t give the ball to Randall Cobb. Louisville gives up on the run game early.

Why Kentucky will win…..
The Kentucky offense sputtered at times last year when going through the air, but the consistent running attack kept the Cats in games. Adding spring standouts Jonathan George and Donald Russell will only add to the arsenal of runners Kentucky can pound UofL with. The Louisville defense would be undersized if they were playing in the Sun Belt conference, so Kentucky’s vastly superior size/strength can just overpower the smaller Cardinals. The Quarterback competition is decided in or shortly after camp and the new starter develops an early rapport with his receivers. This allows UK to balance out the attack and leaves the defense vulnerable to the inside running game as they pull players to the outside to help defend the receivers. The Defensive line applies heavy pressure to Louisville QB Justin Burke and forces him into bad decisions and sacks. The Linebacking corp steps up and shuts down the speedy Louisville running game and forces Doug Beaumont into playing only WR throughout the game. The players come out with intensity and take it to the Cardinals to make an early statement and to start Head Coach Phillips’ career at Kentucky with a win.

So there’s installment #1. If you agree or disagree, leave a comment stating your case. And just for good measure……Terrence Jones, Terrence Jones, Terrence Jones.

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