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Game Thread: Kentucky vs Louisville

It’s the final game of the regular season and the question on everyone’s mind is: can UK’s run game beat the Cards?

NCAA Football: Georgia at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The past two years, the looming question for Wildcat fans has been “Can we beat the Cards to become bowl-eligible?”

This year, the question is “Can we beat the Cards to get to a BETTER bowl?”

Make no mistake, this UofL squad is really good. Led by Lamar Jackson, they’ve made relative mincemeat of the less than outstanding competition they face in the ACC. The only hiccup they had in conference play was against defending national runner-up Clemson...

And then the Houston game happened, and suddenly the Cards look a mite vulnerable. All of which couldn’t be a better set up for the Cats to storm into PJS and steal the Governor’s Cup while simultaneously playing havoc with UofL’s bowl slot.

Is this going to be easy? Of course not.

Are the odds in Kentucky’s favor? Probably not. The Cats would have to play more or less their best game of the season to have a serious shot at pulling this off, but the following could be the difference between a W and another L:

  • Stephen Johnson is healthy. We saw just how much we missed this young man in the first quarter last week against Austin Peay. And for all the bemoaning about his passing skills, we’ve all seen him execute some absolute beauties here of late. I think the question here is less about his cannon and more on why our WR’s can’t execute on darned near perfectly thrown passes, but I digress...
  • Our RBs are healthy. Boom and Benny, with very solid backup in Jojo, should make everyone who faces them nervous. And while Jojo is graduating, and I think no one will be surprised if Boom heads to the draft after this season, we are sitting awfully pretty with Benny in the driver’s seat.
  • A healthy Jordan Jones makes all the difference in our D line.
  • Leaving the self-inflicting wound napalm in Lex. No more holding calls, no more dropped passes that clearly should have been caught, no more stupid fouls, no more off-sides, or illegal substitutions, or false starts, or any of the thousand other things we’ve done to draw penalties. We need laser focus for 60 minutes - PERIOD.

Louisville is coming in off a loss that knocked them out of this year’s playoff picture pretty much for good. Kentucky is coming in high on life after clinching bowl eligibility for the first time in the Mark Stoops’ era. I don’t want to sound all hippie-new age-tree hugger on you but you get a lot further in life with positive energy and drive than you ever will with anger. Put another way, I think these Cats are dying to show the world they deserve this spot in the post-season...and the Cards are on the receiving end of that wish.

Kickoff is at noon EST on ESPN. Until then, Cat fans....GO BIG BLUE!