It’s no secret that the stakes are always high when in-state rivals Kentucky and Louisville tee it up for the annual Governor’s Cup.
But with both teams headed in opposite directions, this year’s game will provide an extra boost of motivation as Coach Mark Stoops and the Wildcats have lost four of its last five games, while Louisville has beat two ranked teams this year in NC State and Wake Forest to jump into the most recent college football playoff rankings at No. 25.
Kentucky, ranked as high as No. 7 early in the season, has put together a disappointing second half of the season, losing to South Carolina and Vanderbilt to fall to 6-5 overall. Louisville, under fourth-year Coach Scott Satterfield, has one of the nation’s best defensive units and currently sits 7-4 on the year.
The big question on Saturday is which Louisville quarterback will get the start at Kroger Field as starter Malik Cunningham is day-to-day after suffering multiple injuries this season. Brock Domann is a very capable backup who gives the Cardinals more options in the passing game so the Kentucky defense will need to step up again in the secondary.
Kentucky enters the matchup as 2.5-point favorites, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
Of course, Kentucky has continued to look anemic offensively, but did show some signs of improvement during the fourth quarter in a recent loss to Georgia. However, the Louisville defense has been one of the best in all of college football and currently leads the nation in sacks, is tied for third in fumbles recovered, is ranked seventh in red zone defense, and is tied for 12th for tackles for loss. Add the fact that Will Levis has been sacked 35 teams this season, among the most in the SEC, and Levis could have another dismal day in the pocket.
For Kentucky fans, the 2022 season has been hard to watch as the Wildcats have been cursed with injuries, sloppy special teams play, and an offense that ranks last in the SEC. However, a win over the Cards would not only help build morale throughout Big Blue Nation, but would also help Kentucky’s Bowl Game projections as seven wins will certainly hold more weight with various Bowl committees.
This is also the final week of our Big Blue Pick ‘Em series as Sea of Blue Staff writers have been going head-to-head all season to pick weekly winners. Jason Marcum, our fearless leader at SOB, is currently in a tie with James Streble as both are 83-19 on the season for a .813 winning percentage. Several others are within striking distance as Samuel Hahn is one back with a record of 82-20, while Adam Haste sits two back at 81-21.
Happy Thanksgiving and Go Cats!
Rivalry Week & Lane Kiffin Watch
Two of the biggest rivalry games in all of college football - The Iron Bowl and Egg Bowl - will have an additional story line this year as Ole Miss Coach Lane Kiffin will be a central figure in both games. Kiffin, now in his third season with the Rebels, is projected as the No. 1 target for the Auburn head coaching job after former coach Bryan Harsin was fired earlier in the year. The Tigers are 2-1 under Interim Head Coach Cadillac Williams, but the Auburn program is looking for a big name to go head-to-head with Alabama’s Nick Saban and Kiffin checks all the right boxes to get back into the hunt for a national title.
Look for Alabama to roll to another Iron Bowl win this week and keep a close eye on the Tennessee-Vanderbilt game as the Vols have lost quarterback Hendon Hooker for the season after getting drilled last week at South Carolina. Vandy is on a two-game win streak, beating Kentucky and Florida to move to 5-6 under Coach Clark Lea. Over the past six seasons, the series has been tied with Vandy winning three straight games between 2016 and 2018 and the Vols claiming their own three-peat from 2019 through 2022.
Updated College Football Playoff Rankings
- Georgia (11-0)
- Ohio State (11-0)
- Michigan (11-0)
- TCU (11-0)
- LSU (9-2)
- USC (10-1)
- Alabama (9-2)
- Clemson (10-1)
- Oregon (9-2)
- Tennessee (9-2)
- Penn State (9-2)
- Kansas State (8-3)
- Washington (9-2)
- Utah (8-3)
- Notre Dame (8-3)
- Florida State (8-3)
- North Carolina (9-2)
- UCLA (8-2)
- Tulane (9-2)
- Ole Miss (8-3)
- Oregon State (8-3)
- UCF (8-3)
- Texas (7-4)
- Cincinnati (9-2)
- Louisville (7-4)
Week 13 TV Schedule
Thursday, November 24th
- Mississippi State at (20) Ole Miss (7:00 p.m. on ESPN)
Friday, November 25th
- Florida at (16) Florida State (7:30 p.m. on ABC)
- Arkansas at Missouri (3:30 p.m. on CBS)
Saturday, November 26th