Kentucky looks to get ninth win for the first time since 1977


Kentucky Wildcats guard Bunchy Stallings (65), Kentucky Wildcats running back Asim Rose (10) and Kentucky Wildcats offensive lineman Darian Kinnard (70) celebrate after Rose ran the ball to the endzone during the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, at Kroger Field, in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky defeated MTSU 34-23. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Braden Ramsey

Saturday marks the final regular season game of what has been a historic season for the Kentucky football program. The team looks to head into their bowl game on a winning note, with an opportunity to defeat their arch-rival in the Louisville Cardinals. No matter the circumstances, Coach Stoops believes his squad will have to be prepared.

“In a rivalry game you can throw the records out the window,” he told reporters. “They’re going to play the system that they’ve played and they’re going to play hard.”

The Cardinals have played hard all year, but without Heisman Trophy-winning first-round pick Lamar Jackson under center, they have dropped off immensely. They head into Saturday’s game with no wins against Power Five conference teams, a 2-9 record overall and losers of eight straight.

The losing season led to head coach Bobby Petrino being dismissed from his position early last week. Associate head coach Lorenzo Ward will coach the team on Saturday.   

Louisville lost to ACC foe NC State 52-10 last week in Cardinal Stadium, as Wolfpack QB Ryan Finley threw for over 300 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Kentucky comes in off a win on Senior Day against Middle Tennessee State 34-23. Tight end C.J. Conrad had four receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown to lead the Cats, safety Mike Edwards had 12 tackles with a 66-yard pick-six and Josh Allen had 15 tackles, along with two sacks.

Louisville and Kentucky have met up once each season since 1994, following a 70-year hiatus in their football rivalry. The Cardinals have won six of the previous seven, but the Cats won the most recent game in Cardinal Stadium 41-38 in 2016.

The winner of each matchup is given the Governor’s Cup trophy. With the win last season, Louisville knotted up the all-time series 15-15. Kentucky has yet to trail in the series, and it is only the second time that the series has been tied.

The battle for the Governor’s Cup is on Saturday at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville. It begins at 7:00 p.m. and is being televised on ESPN2.