If you asked in September who would win this year’s Governor’s Cup, it would be a near unanimous answer for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Through the first five games, the Wildcats were ranked No. 13 in the country and had a 4-1 record. Whereas the Louisville Cardinals were just 2-3, which included a loss to a Boston College tram that is is just 3-8 (as of this article).
Going into Saturday, the Wildcats were still favored by 3.5, but the matchup looked a bit different. Louisville came in ranked 25th in the country, winning 5 of their last 6, compared to Kentucky’s 2-4 record which pushed them out of the rankings after week 9.
With that said, this matchup was not expected to be the blowout that is has in recent season, and it wasn’t.
After one half, Kentucky had the lead 13-7, but that score did not tell the story. In fact Kentucky dominated much of the first half, but scored a touchdown on just one of their three scoring opportunities - one of which was a recovered fumble at the Louisville six-yard line - settling for two field goals. Due to this, it allowed the Cardinals to stay in the game.
Coming out of half, Louisville got the first possession but couldn’t capitalize and Kentucky responded with a field goal. This was followed up with an interception from Malik Cunningham at their own 16-yard line, and Kentucky was able to score a touchdown and extend the lead to double-digits, 23-7.
From that point, the game never was really in question as the Wildcats retained the Governor’s Cup for a fifth straight season.
While there were some positives on offense including freshmen Barion Brown and Dane Key - who scored both of Kentucky’s touchdowns - the offense was too inconsistent today.
With that said, Matt Ruffalo was Mr. Consistent on Saturday night, as he went 4-4 on field goals and set a single-game career-high. Not to mention Ruffalo almost outscored the Cardinals by himself if you include his two PATs.
With the struggles that special teams has had this season, it is promising to see this performance to end the regular season.