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Preview: Louisville Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats

The Cardinals conclude the 2021 regular season with the annual Battle for the Governor's Cup against the Wildcats.

Kentucky Wildcats (8-3, 5-3 SEC) at Louisville Cardinals (6-5, 4-4 ACC)

- Kickoff: Saturday, November 27 at 7:30 p.m. EST
- Location: Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky.
- Weather Conditions: Partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to cloudy skies during the afternoon. A few clouds at night. High 52F, low 34F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.
- How To Watch: ESPN2
- How To Listen: WHAS 840/790 WKRD
- Betting Favorite: Louisville -3.0
- All-Time Series: Kentucky leads 17-15
- Last Meeting: Kentucky won 45-13 on Nov. 30, 2019 (Commonwealth Stadium - Lexington, Ky.)

Game Notes

Louisville

  • The Cardinals and Wildcats are meeting for the 33rd time in school history with UK holding a 17-15 series advantage. UK has won the last two encounters, including a 56-10 win at Cardinal Stadium in 2018.
  • The Cardinals finished the ACC schedule at 4-4 after a 62-22 win over Duke in Durham on Thursday night. The 62 points were tied for the most points scored under Scott Satterfield, matching the 62 the Cards scored versus Wake Forest in 2019.
  • Louisville recorded 687 yards of total offense in the win over Duke — its 10th highest total in a game. The total yards gained were the most since they totaled 727 yards in a 56-10 win vs. Syracuse on Nov. 18, 2017.
  • Quarterback Malik Cunningham became the only the second player in NCAA history to rush for 200 or more yards and pass for 300 or more yards since Marques Tuiasosopo of Washington, who recorded 207 yards rushing and 302 yards passing in 1999, Cunningham was also the first player since Jordan Lynch in 2012 to pass for 150 yards and rush for 150 yards in the first half versus Duke. Cunningham rushed for 178 yards and threw for 189 as the Cards led 35-9 at the break.
  • Louisville’s 11.08 yards per play at Duke was the highest average for a game in program history, surpassing the previous record of 11.06 yards per play in a 63-27 win vs. Oregon State on Sept. 17, 2005.
  • Cunningham’s 527 total yards at Duke is the fourth highest single-game total by a Louisville player. His 224 yards rushing are the ninth most rushing yards in a game by a Louisville player and the second most by a quarterback, falling three yards short of Lamar Jackson’s 226 total in 2015.
  • Malik Cunningham accounted for seven touchdowns in the win over Duke, becoming only the second Louisville player to be responsible for seven touchdowns in a game. Lamar Jackson recorded a school best eight versus Charlotte in 2016.
  • Linebacker Marvin Dallas, who was making his first career start, recorded five tackles and recorded his first interception in the win over Duke.
  • Wide receiver Ahmari Huggins-Bruce caught his third touchdown pass in the last two games after catching a 12-yard pass from Cunningham. Huggins Bruce has caught 10 passes for 95 yards in those last two contests.
  • The Cardinals rushed for a season high 384 yards in the win over Duke — the most yards under Scott Satterfield and the fifth time that his teams have surpassed the 300-yard mark. The 384 yards on the ground were the most since totaling 411 versus Syracuse in 2017.
  • Louisville has gone three consecutive games without a turnover for the first time since doing so vs. Memphis, Cincinnati, and Connecticut Oct. 9-23, 2010.
  • The Cardinals has scored on 10 of their first 12 first-half drives in the last two games, scoring 35 points by halftime in back-to-back games for the first time since doing so in its first four games of 2016.
  • In the win over Duke, the Cardinals averaged 10.4 yards per carry and totaled four runs of over 30 yards. The 10.4 yards per carry was the highest mark since the Cards averaged 10.1 yards a carry versus Syracuse in 2016.

Kentucky

  • The Wildcats are looking to extend their non-conference winning streak to 15 games, which is the second-longest active streak in the country. A win also would give UK nine wins in the regular season for the second time since 1977 (both under coach Mark Stoops, 2018).
  • Offensively, the Wildcats have been guided by quarterback Will Levis, who is completing 65.8 percent of his passes for 2,444 yards and 23 touchdowns. Levis’ top target has been Wan’Dale Robinson, who is among the leading receivers in the nation with 85 catches for 1,067 yards and six TDs. The ground game has been paced by Christopher Rodriguez Jr., who has rushed for 1,151 yards and seven scores, and he ranks second in the league in rushing with 104.9 yards per game. The trio is just the second in school history to reach 2,000 yards passing, 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving in the same season.
  • The Kentucky defense has been exceptional at times in 2021, with linebackers DeAndre Square and Jacquez Jones leading the team in tackles, while safety Yusuf Corker and defensive end Josh Paschal are among the SEC leaders in pass breakups and tackles for loss, respectively.
  • Kentucky finished 5-3 in the SEC for second place in the SEC Eastern Division. It marks the first time since the league split into divisions in 1992 that UK ends the season in sole possession of second place of the East. UK also has finished in a tie for second in the division on two other occasions, 2016 and 2018. All three second-place East finishes have been in the last six seasons under Mark Stoops.
  • Last week the Wildcats thrashed New Mexico State 56-16 on Senior Day. The Cats piled up 707 total yards, the second-most in school history. It marked the third game in school history that UK had a 400-yard passer, 150-yard receiver and 100-yard rusher in the same game, also at Louisville in 1998 (Tim Couch, Craig Yeast and Derek Homer) and 2006 vs. Vanderbilt (Andre’ Woodson, Keenan Burton and Rafael Little).
  • UK had two players with at least 160 yards receiving in the same game for the first time in school history. Wan’Dale Robinson (181) and Josh Ali (164) each set career highs.
  • Kentucky opened the season 6-0. UK’s previous 6-0 starts include 1950 (10-0), 1910 (7-0), 1903 (7-0) and 1898 (7-0). Kentucky started 4-0 in the SEC for the fourth time in school history (also 1949, 1950, 1977).
  • Guided by defensive coordinator Brad White, UK is seventh in the FBS in fourth down defense (33.3%), 34th in tackles for loss (6.4 per game) and 28th in total defense (334.8).

Depth Charts

Here are the depth charts for both teams ahead of their matchup: Louisville vs. Kentucky

Read More

Comparison

See how the Cardinals stack up against the Blue Devils, and who the statistical models favor: Tale of the Tape, Predictions: Louisville vs. Kentucky

Uniform Report

Louisville will be wearing all red, and Kentucky will be wearing white jerseys and pants with chrome helmets.

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