Early Analysis: Louisville at Kentucky


No. 7 Louisville (2-0) at Kentucky (1-1)
Saturday, 12:00 p.m. EST, ESPN
Line: Louisville -13.5

After back-to-back impressive wins at home over Ohio (49-7) and Eastern Kentucky (44-7), Louisville is going on the road for the first time. It’s not too far, though as the Cardinals are heading to Lexington, Ky.

In those wins, Louisville’s offense was almost perfect as they outgained their opponents by a combined 611 yards.

Kentucky is fresh off its first win under first-year head coach Mark Stoops and the Wildcats would love nothing more this season than to ruin Louisville’s final year in the former Big East.

For Louisville to win: Just let Teddy Bridgewater do his thing. Outside of Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Bridgewater is the best quarterback in the game.

For Kentucky to win: Run the ball, baby. Kentucky has enjoyed back-to-back 200-yard rushing games for the first time since 2010. A third straight could be exactly what the Wildcats need for a victory.

Key Player (Louisville): Bridgewater will play a critical role in the outcome of this game, but LB James Burgess is stepping up as a big-time player on defense. Louisville’s long-term success will be determined by the play of guys like Burgess, who has enjoyed two solid performances.

Key Player (Kentucky): DE Za’Darius Smith had three sacks in at 41-7 win over Miami (Ohio), and the Wildcats will need him to get that type of pressure on Bridgewater to slow down the potent Louisville offense.

Key Stat: Louisville is loaded with experienced talent, but Kentucky is playing 11 first-time starters this season.