From now until the day of the big game, I will try to post a daily open thread containing links to stories and commentary on the Governor's Cup game. This year, the annual meeting has received the lowest hype I can remember, and it's time for both fan bases to get fired up.
Louisville has been much better than Kentucky over recent years in appreciating their football program, and it's about time the Big Blue Nation got up to speed. I know that we all love basketball, but if Kentucky is ever to elevate itself above the "slightly better than Vanderbilt" category in the SEC, we are going to have to take our football a lot more seriously. I'm going to do my part, and I know you will, too.
So then, to the news. Rich Brooks was very pleased with what he saw yesterday in practice yesterday. Brooks was particularly excited about the freshman receiving corps UK signed. Regarding my personal favorite, Randall Cobb, Matt Jones at KSR had this comment:
The media fell in love today with Randall Cobb again, as the coaches once again praised his ability. Rich Brooks has said that he expects Cobb to get more looks at QB and it may be the case that this becomes his future. But whatever the case, Cobb is an athlete that the Cats are THRILLED to have. He told the media today about Tennessee’s attempt to recruit him after his commitment to UK and the absurd nature of their comments that they "hadnt seen enough of him" when he went to school in Alcoa, 10 minutes from UT’s campus. He saw through those lines and clearly holds a grudge against the Vols….could he help lead the first victory since 1985 during his career…..sure would be nice. [SIC]
Amen. Cobb leading us to a victory over the Vols anytime during his tenure here would be magic, indeed.
USA Today takes note of Louisville's defensive issues last year:
Then the season started, and the wheels came off. After crushing Murray State in the opener, Louisville gave up 120 points in its next three games, two of which were losses, including a stunning 38-35 setback to a Syracuse team that was a 37-point underdog.
Louisville was 84th in total defense last year, surrendering an average of 416 yards/game against the 51st toughest schedule. Compare that to Kentucky, who came in at 67th, surrendering 397 yards/game against the 17th toughest schedule (stats courtesy of cfbstats.com and the Sagarin ratings). Louisville was particularly putrid against the pass, clocking in at 87th in that stat. Kentucky was a respectable 25th against the pass.
Some other links of interest:
- Mike at Card Chronicle says that fans of UK or U of L who say other games are more important to them are being disingenuous. I think he is correct.
Tom Heiser at the C-J U of L fan blog says that UK's defense was "little more than a speed bump against the Big Blue's traditional foes." I won't quarrel with that except to give you these 2007 statistics:
Team Statistic In conference rank Teams Conf. SOS Kentucky Total Defense 10 12 1 Scoring defense 12 Rushing defense 10 Passing defense 7 Louisville Total Defense 7 8 3 Scoring defense 7 Rushing defense 7 Passing defense 6
In the Big East, 1-6 Syracuse was at the bottom defensively. That single win came against Louisville last year in PJCS. Make of that what you will. Conference SOS courtesy RealTimeRPI.com.
- ESPN ranks Steve Kragthorpe the 5th best coach in the Big East.
- Louisville's backfield looks a lot younger (Courier-Journal)
- Louisville continues to get more respect from SEC bloggers than Kentucky (Garnet and Black Attack)
- Big Blue Primers: Special Teams Edition (4th and Blue)
- Chris at the C-J UK fan blog has a look at both teams' quarterbacks
- Multi-threat freshmen get passed around (Courier-Journal)
- UK quarterbacks lining up for a shot at #1
- Big Blue Primers: Tight End Edition (4th and Blue)
24 days and counting.