For the third year in a row, the Governor’s Cup will reside in Louisville. On Saturday afternoon, the Louisville Cardinals defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 27-13 at Commonwealth Stadium. The 7th ranked Cards moved to 3-0 on the season while Kentucky dropped to 1-2. It was a slow start offensively for both teams, and was much closer at half than most people expected. The offense for the Cards began to click in the 3rd quarter, and that was where the game was won.
The game began with Kentucky getting the ball. After a 3-and-out, they punted to the Cards. On their first play from scrimmage from their own 21, Teddy Bridgewater ran a play action and threw it deep, but the pass fell incomplete. It was clear that the Cards were trying to take advantage of a weaker UK secondary early on. The Cards also went 3-and-out and had to punt.
On Kentucky’s next possession, backup QB Jalen Whitlow entered the game on 3rd and 1 and tried to rush for the first down, but Marcus Smith forced and recovered a fumble for Louisville. Starting the drive from the UK 27, UofL could not convert a first down, and they had to settle for a field goal and the 3-0 lead.
Kentucky also took advantage of a turnover by the Cards when DeVante Parker fumbled after making a catch while he tried to gain extra yards. Starting at their own 41, the Cats drove to the Louisville 20 yard line and also had to settle for the field goal.
After each team punted two more times each, the Cards finally found the endzone when Teddy Bridgewater threw the ball up and DeVante Parker went up (and up, and up) to get it. It was an incredible catch by Parker, who was covered well by the Cats.
At the half, it was 10-3 Cards, but by the end of the 3rd quarter, it jumped up to 20-3 and the game seemed to be in control. Senorise Perry had a big 27 yard rush down to the 1 yard line, where he scored on the next play. Perry finished with 11 carries for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was a great showing for someone who has not looked 100% this season after coming back from ACL surgery.
“I was kind of (upset) at half because I knew we weren’t playing our best football,” Charlie Strong said. “I had some really good words for them. … We hadn’t played our best with our offense in the first half but defensively, we had. I knew eventually we would pick up on offense because we just have too many good players not to.”
Speaking of the rushing attack for the Cards, Michael Dyer added 62 yards on 11 carries, and Dominique Brown had 45 yards on 12 carries. It was just about as balanced of a rushing attack as you could see, and each player produced good stats.
A 36 yard touchdown run by Senorise Perry in the 4th quarter pushed the lead to 27-6, pretty much putting the game away for Louisville. Kentucky would add a touchdown as Jalen Whitlow, back in the game because of a Max Smith injury, led the Cats down the field for 15 plays and 75 yards and the score. Another couple possessions, and this game was over. Louisville 27- Kentucky 13.
Junior Teddy Bridgewater struggled early in the game, and looked rattled by the Kentucky defense and their pressure. He finished the game 16/28 for 250 yards and 1 touchdown. He was much better in the 2nd half, but he certainly showed that the defensive line of Kentucky was taking him out of his rhythm.
Here is Charlie Strong after the game. Video courtesy of thecrunchzone.com
The next game for the Cards will be at 12:00 next Saturday as they host Florida International University.