Despite the unwelcome news over the weekend that Kentucky's offense did not play well in the scrimmage, time marches inexorably onward toward the start of the 2008 season and our biggest rival, the Louisville Cardinals.
We know how the 'Cats did from numerous reports. The Cards had a scrimmage last Thursday -- how did that work out for them? Well, since Louisville fans don't seem to know much, I can't tell you much, either. But the few details we do have are these:
- The Cardinal offense scored on the defense. [ed. note -- so did everyone last year -- a lot. This tells us nothing.]
- Hunter Cantwell threw four touchdown passes [ed. note -- that makes sense -- he is the starting quarterback.]
- Scott Long caught three of the TD passes.
- Woodny Turrene (CB) was a defensive standout.
- An undisclosed player (allegedly Bilal Powell (RB)) did something allegedly awesome -- and also undisclosed.
I don't know about you, but compared to Kentucky's "closed" practice, the Louisville scrimmage looks virtually top secret. We only have rumors of rumors and not much else. I'm not being critical here, closed practices are, well, closed, and the security on information over there is pretty impressive.
Still, I guess we can draw the conclusion that the Louisville offense performed better than UK's. I think it's also reasonable to conclude that their defense did not perform as well as UK's relatively speaking, but what we do not know is those all-important details. So what seems to be emerging out of both practices (although this is quite a stretch on my part, especially considering the tight-lipped nature of the Cardinal scrimmage) is that the Louisville offense is better, at this point, than the Kentucky offense, and that the UK defense is better, at this point, than the Louisville defense.
This is really about what we would expect. Louisville returns a quarterback that is much more battle-tested than Hartline, and is a pretty darn good quarterback to begin with. Kentucky is struggling a bit more on offense, but our defense was very impressive -- just how impressive is hard to know due to the struggles of the offense, but judging by Brooks' comments, it sounds like we may have just what we thought we'd have -- the best defense at Kentucky in years.
I would guess that Louisville has as many concerns overall as Kentucky at this point, they are just happening on different sides of the football. Does this give us a clue about how the Governor's Cup game will be? Sure. At this point it looks like a radical departure from recent years, and I would expect a low-scoring affair, as usually is the case when two teams' strengths lie on opposite sides of the football -- one team can't score because of the defense, and the other can't score because of execution. Whoever overcomes their weakness the best or exerts their strength most forcefully will likely win.
Some other articles of interest:
- UK line is slow out of the blocks (Courier-Journal)
- The day after (The Cats Pause -- free)
- Cats cancel practice (Bret Dawson, C-J)
- A little worried? (Chris Diggs, C-J)
- Rich Brooks keeping Kentucky in the SEC mix (Memphis Commercial-Appeal)
- UK offense just as bad the second time around (John Clay, LHL)
- Micah Johnson ready for a big year (Chip Crosby, LHL)
- Brooks evaluates first scrimmage (WYMT)
- Reasons not to panic (4th and Blue)
- Marmaduke's Monday news and views (Kentucky Sports Radio)