Comparing the stats: Louisville vs Kentucky football



Here are some interesting stats comparing UL and UK football from These stats are also filtered to get averages against POWER 5 teams only. This takes away Louisville’s game against Samford and Kentucky’s game against Charlotte. Stats in those games can be very misleading.

Total Defense

18 UL    325.2 ypg

50 UK   395.8 ypg

Total Offense

60 UL    381 ypg

75 UK    351 ypg

The common response when you tell a UK fan about these stats and how we are better is something about SOS or asking who we have played. Well……

Louisville has played 6 teams with better total defenses than UK’s defense.

Kentucky has only played against 2 teams better than UL’s defense.


Louisville has played against 7 teams with better total offenses than UK’s offense.

Kentucky has only played against 3 teams with better offenses than UL’s offense


Louisville’s offense has gained more yards than their opponent’s season average 7 times.

Kentucky’s offense has only done it twice.


Louisville’s defense has held their opponent below their season average 7 times.

Kentucky has done it 5 times.


OK…yards are nice….but the game is about scoring.

Devante Parker
Photo: Tim Haag/

Scoring Defense

35 UL    25.7 ppg

47 UK   27.6 ppg

Scoring Offense

52 UL    25.8 ppg

87 UK    17.5 ppg

Same UK argument…same responses below:

Louisville has played 8 teams that score more points than UK.

Kentucky has only played 3 that score more than UL.


Louisville has scored more points than their opponent’s defensive average 5 times.

Kentucky has only done it once.


Louisville has held 3 teams below their scoring average.

Kentucky has only done it once.


The next UK argument will be about our weak O-line. We will hear about how they will sack us repeatedly and get a ton of TFL’s. Admittedly, that is our weak link. But what do the stats say? Sacks and TFLs are the surest sign of a weak line.

Sheldon Rankins Deiontrez Mount
Photo: Tim Haag/


11 UL    26 total

63 UK     9 total

Sacks Allowed

87 UK    27 total

128 UL   43 total (dead last)

Tackles for Loss

4 UL    69 total

64 UK  30 total

Tackles for Loss Allowed

95 UK    51 total

126 UL  76 total

Louisville’s O-line needs work. The stats prove it. But, Kentucky’s defensive stats in these categories are not troublesome at all. Most of Louisville’s opponents have been better than UK in these categories. On the other hand, Kentucky’s O-line is not much better and they will be facing the best defense in these categories that they’ve seen all year. 

Louisville has played 9 teams with more sacks than UK.

UK has only played 1 team with more sacks than UL.


Louisville has played 8 teams with more TFL’s than UK.

Kentucky has never played a team with more TFL’s than UL. 


Turnovers will be the difference! 


6 UL    11

60 UK   4

INT Thrown

96 UL    8

121 UK  12

Fumble recoveries

16 UL    6

29 UK   5

Fumbles lost

52 UK    3

125 UL  10 

Neither team values the football. This looks like a push, but Louisville has played against much better defenses than UK in these categories. UK is 3rd from the bottom in INTs and UL will be the best INT team they have faced this year. 

Louisville has played against 9 teams with more INTs than UK.

Kentucky has never played against a team better than UL at INTs


Louisville has played 4 teams with more fumble recoveries than UK.

Kentucky has only played against 2 better than UL. 


Special Teams…..the game will be won by the better special team. 

Extra point %

UL  100%

UK  93%


UK  84.6%

UL  75%

Punt Return

77 UL     4.38 avg  0TD

90 UK    2.44 avg  0TD

Punt Defense

34 UL    5.27 avg  1TD
89 UK   11.93 avg  1TD

Kickoff Return

34 UL 22.47 avg  1 TD

73 UK 19.60 avg  0TD

Kickoff Defense

63 UL    21.71 avg  0TD
76 UK   22.88 avg  1TD


It appears that UK has the better FG kicker. It should be taken in consideration that UL’s kicker has tried three 50+ yard FGs. UK’s kicker has never tried a kick beyond 50. Both kickers are 100% inside 30 yards.

After looking at all these stats, Louisville is statistically better at almost every phase of the game. Our weakness (o-line) is not matched up against a formidable defensive line.

Statistically, the team that Louisville has played that is most comparable to UK is Syracuse. The team that UK has played that is most statistically comparable to UL is Tennessee. has Louisville’s SOS at 36 and UK’s at 64.

Stats are interesting and good conversation pieces. But the game still must be played on the field. It’s almost time for kickoff. Let’s do this!

Gerod Holliman Governor's Cup Trophy
Photo: Tim Haag/

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