QUICK TAKES: Kentucky vs. Louisville
Kentucky closed the regular season in grand fashion on Saturday at Kroger Field, crushing arch-rival Louisville 45-13 to keep the Governor's Cup in Lexington. In this Cats Illustrated postgame feature, our staff offers its first impressions from the victory...
Very seldom does a game play out exactly how I envisioned it in my mind leading up to the event. This one did. Barring poor ball security and penalties, I did not think there was anything the Louisville defense could do to slow down the Kentucky offense. The Wildcats had a couple of hiccups late in the second quarter or the final score could have been even more lopsided. When you rush for 500 yards and everyone in the stadium knows what is coming, that is a testament to pure physical domination. Lynn Bowden Jr. has proven to be as fierce a competitor who has ever laced it up for UK, and he's running behind a terrific O-Line that has made even the most pass-happy fans in Big Blue Nation smile about what the Cats are doing on the ground. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the UK defense as well. They get a bit overshadowed by all those rushing yards, but to hold a really good Louisville offense to just 13 points is quite an accomplishment. They really settled down after that first TD drive and made some nice adjustments.
On paper this seemed like a close game. But as we saw, these teams are a long way apart. That's more a testament to Mark Stoops than any kind of knock on Scott Satterfield, who has done a nice job in his first season. UK is just so physically superior at virtually every spot on the field. This was especially apparent on the offensive and defensive lines and at linebacker. UK had several chances to blow this game open before they did but they were in complete control from right after Louisville's first drive of the game. Recruit and develop was on full display. UK is playing like a Top-25 team.
Kentucky thoroughly demolished Louisville and put on a defensive clinic outside of two big plays that resulted in touchdowns. When you beat a team by 32 with only 4 passing yards, you know you put on a show running the football. That’s exactly what Kentucky did, and Louisville had no answer for it. You cannot downplay how good Lynn Bowden was today, as he was one drive short of setting the single-game rushing record at Kentucky. Smoke, Rodriguez, and Rose all did good things as well. This game showed how bad the ACC was, as Louisville is probably a 4-win team at best in the SEC. It was a testament to the depth Kentucky has built and the Cats’ third-stringers were oftentimes better than Louisville’s first-stringers at most spots