As we head into Louisville Football’s battle vs uk this Saturday night at 7:30 pm on ESPN2, I wanted to bring my thoughts on how we win this game. Also grabbed some insight from our very own Dalton Pence, host of the LockedOn Louisville Podcast.
- Get Malik going. The Cards are nearly unbeatable when Malik gets moving. Mark Stoops and Brad White will be throwing a bunch of different looks at Cunningham right out of the gate, and sustaining drives from the beginning would bode well for the Cardinals.
- Stop the run. The Cards have been great shutting down great rushers this season. That has to continue this week. The Cards have not allowed a 100-yard rusher since FSU. They have held multiple rushers under 50 yards. They must shut down Chris Rodriguez. On top of that, secondary back Kavosiey Smoke is also a player that the Cardinal defense will have to game plan for.
- Penetration. This will be one of the top 3 O-Lines the Cards go against this season. Darian Kinnard is a likely first-rounder next April, while the rest of the line is composed of seasoned veterans. They have to build on the success they’ve had the past month. They have to rush Levis into throwing and making mistakes.
- Safeties vs Robinson. This is the key matchup that will likely decide the game. The Cards will be able to score on that defense so containing Mr. Robinson is a must. The Wildcats have made it an effort all year to get him the ball in different ways (out wide, in the slot, jet sweeps, screens, etc); Louisville will have to know where he is at all times.
- Running the ball vs throwing the deep ball. The Cards have to focus on the run and short, intermediate passes to dominate. Malik has been making some long passes, but he’s best when he runs and dinks and dunks on defenses. He makes less mistakes also. 4 of his 5 interceptions have come off of long balls. Seems less accurate, but has improved.
- Winning the turnover game. As in any game, you give yourself a better chance to win if you force more than you commit. Malik has been phenomenal with his decision-making this season and the other guy makes more mistakes throwing the ball when pushed out of his comfort zone.
- Don’t believe in the hype. They are improved. They have won a few games they normally wouldn’t because of the other teams injuries or mass penalties but at the end of the day this is still kentucky.
We will have more rivalry talk in the morning when we release GameDay Prep with uk personalities James Streble and Terry Brown.