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Rivalry Week: Cats Vs. Cards Is More Than The Numbers


The rule of thumb in college athletics is that what you see is almost never all that you get. Gamblers make bets based on everything from tendencies to the color socks that the players are wearing for that game. So appearances can be deceiving. You can study, and study, and study, and not get any more information than you had before you started because some kid comes off the bench and makes a play out of nowhere.

So when you look at the Cats and their 2-0 record against what would be considered less than stellar competition, one would think that there are sharks in the water. The SEC is a minefield that almost no one can survive without getting at least some shrapnel in their jerseys. But first we have to deal with the Louisville Cardinals and their own inadequacies.

When you look closely at these two teams you will find a lot of similarities, at least according to their fan bases. As per usual the talking heads are already claiming victories of sorts, some are already making excuses for what might happen, and the bulk of the smart money will tell you that anything can and will happen when it comes to Louisville Vs. Kentucky. There are a few slight advantages on the surface, so let’s examine those for a minute.

First: The game is at Commonwealth. No Pizza Bowl nonsense. That gets the Cats at least a 3 point advantage. Not a big deal, right? True, but in a game that could see less than 25 points scored by both teams combined, it could mean the difference between a W and an L.

Second: The Cats have played better than the Cards. It’s on paper, its on the game tapes, and it’s not hard to see. But that is one of those things that you cannot hang your hat on. You can argue that the Cards played tougher competition, or that Kentucky has been lucky to catch a break here and there.

Third: Kentucky has more experience. This statement, while technically true, does not hold as much weight as it might, because Joker has realized that he has true freshmen who might actually be better than his sophomores, juniors and seniors in some of his key positions.

Fourth: Morgan Newton is a better QB than Will Stein and he is playing behind a better O-Line. While Newton has a better upside, he has so far been like a rifle with an erratic firing pin. And when you add in that his receivers have been even more so, you have to wonder if the real Morgan Newton is going to show up or not.

Louisville has their own gems on their squad, however, as of yet, they have not produced the results that they believed they would, largely because UL’s O-Line is not as experienced, talented, or cohesive as they need to be to protect Will Stein. And Stein has been so busy running for his life at times, he has not been able to show how good he really is.

When you add up all of the evidence, throw in Winston Guy and Danny Trevathan for good measure, and mix it all with the fact that Joker seems to be taking all of the Wildcats’ recent shortcomings a lot more seriously now, it bodes well for Kentucky in the end. But don’t expect it to be pretty out there, and if it is, don’t get too excited just yet. 3-0 would be great for this squad to have for a start to the season, but in the end, earning that record will not be as easy as keeping it that way the rest of the year.

Our Cats have shown progress, and have also shown an ability to pull out of tough situations and make lemons out of lemonade. They will need it to make it to the next level and get past that SEC gorilla staring them in the face come next week.

However, after looking at all of the evidence, both pro and con, you can throw it out. Kentucky Vs. Louisville is going to be ugly, dirty, and a lot of pain being both given and received. And to tell the truth we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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