Saturday is almost finally upon us. The Cats and the Cards are set to kick off September ..."/> Saturday is almost finally upon us. The Cats and the Cards are set to kick off September ..."/>

WBN Games of the Week: The Governor's Cup Edition


Saturday is almost finally upon us. The Cats and the Cards are set to kick off September 17 at 7:00 PM in Lexington in what will be one of the more low profile games between the two teams in recent memory. The tempered expectations that both fan bases have for their teams are due to lackluster play at times by the Wildcats and an embarrassing loss to a Sun Belt team by the Cardinals.

It’s the rivalry game. Make no mistake; by Friday the trash talking will be at an all time high, no matter how good each team actually is. Cat fans will be wearing their blue to work; Card fans will be throwing up those ridiculous “L” hand gestures to innocent passers by in the streets. It’s time for the Governor’s Cup.

Governor’s Cup Break Down

Neither team right now is lighting the college football world on fire with it’s play. Louisville has scored a total of 38 points in two games while allowing 33 points. Not a winning recipe as the Cards are now 1-1. The Cats have scored a slightly better 41 points and have only allowed an immensely better 16 points and now sit at 2-0.

The big talk so far this week has been less about the actual strengths and weaknesses of the teams but more about Louisville coach Charlie Strong’s comments about how the Cards are nowhere close to being as good as the Cats. Many speculate that he is playing mind games but I don’t think Strong is that type of coach. I think he means everything he says, even if it is a not so subtle message to his team.

Kentucky will hurt Louisville the most with their defense. The Cardinal offensive line is awful, young and not deep. Quarterback Will Stein is about 5 foot 3 (not really) inches and can barely see over said offensive line. Louisville gave up 5 sacks against Florida International last week. The size, strength and speed of the Kentucky’s defensive line and linebackers, coupled with the confusing looks that Rick Minter will implement should give Stein and his second rate O-Line fits. Louisville should not be able to block Danny Trevathan, Winston Guy, Collins Ukwu, Ridge Wilson and anybody else in the UK defensive rotation. Louisville’s fast receivers and big play capability should be negated by the poor offensive line play. Receivers Devante Parker and Josh Bellamy are legit deep threats for the Cards, luckily the Cats have legit defensive backs to cover them. Stein can throw the ball to these two players if given time but I don’t think his offensive line will be able to give him any room to work.

Louisville’s defense is good in one area: defensive line. Their linebackers are decent and their secondary is just as bad as their offensive line. Just ask TY Hilton about that. If UK’s banged up but experienced line can’t handle the Louisville front four, which is good but not great, then the game will be thrust into Morgan Newton’s hands, or legs more like it. Newton will have to showcase his escapeability and athleticism if the defensive line starts getting pressure.

I don’t think it will come to that as the Kentucky line looked much better against CMU. Kentucky will also be implementing the shotgun more for Newton, so look for him to open it up in the passing game to compliment his running. Josh Clemons was thrust into the starting line up because of original starter Raymond Sanders being out due to a knee injury sustained at practice. I think Clemons will be fine, he has been the better of the two in games. He also has another very good back up in Coshik Williams that will most certainly see some clock. But the key to the game offensively will be if the receivers can finally come through for Newton.

The Kentucky seniors have never lost to Louisville and Ronnie Sneed has already made it clear that he does not want to be a part of the group that breaks the 4-0 streak. A bowl game berth is on the line in this one, not to mention the pride of the Blue Grass. I will keep my earlier prediction of a double digit win. The Cats are vastly more experienced and all round better than the Cards. I think the game will come down to turnovers. Louisville is -7 in turnover margin for two games and Kentucky is +1. That gives me even more confidence in my prediction.

Cats win 5 years in a row: 24-10.

SEC Game of the Week: 3 LSU (2-0) at 25 Mississippi State (1-1)

The Tigers have been darn near unstoppable in the two games they have played this season. Their second victory was over cupcake Northwestern State 49-3, but their first victory is what has the college football world buzzing. They defeated a then #3 Oregon team the first week of the season 40-27 on a neutral field. LSU has one of the fastest, biggest defenses in football.

Mississippi State has been a dark horse contender in the SEC West since throttling Michigan in the Gator Bowl at the end of last season 52-14. The Bull Dogs stumbled against Auburn last week, literally. QB Chris Relf was tripped up a yard short of the goal line in the final seconds of the game at Auburn, losing 41-34.

Look for LSU to win by a comfortable margin, despite the fact that MSU is ranked 6th in the FBS in rushing. Tigers win 35-22.

Non-SEC Game of the Week: 1 Oklahoma (1-0) at 5 Florida State (2-0)

This game will prove if Free Shoes University (FSU) is really back or if it is all hype. After struggling for about a decade with a coach that didn’t want to retire but needed to retire (sound familiar Penn State?), the Seminoles finally are back in the top five and have their sites set on a national title, something they can realistically get if they knock of the Sooners.

Oklahoma has only played in one game against Tulsa and won that easily while FSU has played both Charleston Southern and Louisiana Monroe, winning both handily. Will FSU’s extra game be an advantage? I doubt it given the talent level of the opponents.

Oklahoma is too much of an offensive juggernaut with too many returning starters. The Seminoles might win the ACC, but the they aren’t quite ready for prime time without Deion Sanders.

Sooners win 35-21.

Clunker of the Week: Duke (0-2) at Boston College (0-2)

If it wasn’t for the Big East then the ACC would have the worst BCS conference in college football. I know all the teams are jumping ship in the Big 12, but the conferences they should be leaping from are the previously mentioned two.

These two ACC powder puffs have suffered losses at the hands of Stanford, Northwestern, Richmond and Central Florida: two braniac schools and two schools that teams in the ACC should have no business losing to. BC has had traditionally tough football teams, while Duke has always been a cellar dweller. Look for BC to get the win in Beantown and seriously look at coaches in the off season.

Eagles win 17-6.

NFL Game of the Week: San Diego (1-0) at New England (1-0)

Talk about offensive fireworks. The Patriots have Tom Brady and the Chargers have Phillips Rivers, two quarterbacks that can win no matter who you put around them. Brady opened the season with a 517 yard, X-Box worthy performance against the Miami Dolphins (sorry Paul) and Rivers passed for 330 yards and 2 touchdowns in his victory against the Vikings.

Both teams have serviceable defenses that they can fall back on. The Patriots have a few more weapons that they can throw at you while the Charg
ers are still working out new personnel.

Pats win 48-38

That about does it for me. Check back for my “What I hate about You” Louisville post at 11 A.M. It’s going to a doozey.

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