Scouting report: Louisville football


Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson runs the ball past defenders during the game against the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday, November 26, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Hunter Mitchell | Staff

Jordan Colquitt

This Thanksgiving weekend, the UK football team will take on its in-state rival Louisville at Kroger Field. 

The last time these two teams met was a hard-fought battle at Louisville and the Cats brought home a 41-38 win with a late field goal hit by Austin MacGinnis.

UK is coming off a 42-13 road loss to No. 7 Georgia, while Louisville is trying to keep their two-game win streak alive after beating Syracuse at home, 56-10, which is their biggest conference victory since 2004.

Senior running back Malik Williams rushed for a career best of 180 yards and two touchdowns, the second 100-yard game of his career against Syracuse.

Junior quarterback Lamar Jackson broke the school record for career yards of total offense with 12,747 yards. He is averaging 346.5 yards of offense for his career and passed former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson for third in ACC history.

During his game against Syracuse, he broke the school record for 300-yard games of total offense in a season with 11. The 2016 Heisman trophy winner has 40 touchdowns this season, 23 passing and 17 rushing, putting him in second place in school history for touchdowns in a season.

Against Syracuse, junior wide receiver Jaylen Smith led the team with 95 yards from three catches and had one touchdown. His 72-yard reception was one of two touchdowns that he caught for over 70 yards in his career. 

Over the last five games, Smith has tallied 25 receptions for 419 yards and three touchdowns.

The UK defense will have its work cut out against Louisville’s offense. Their offense is averaging 560.4 yards per game and 7.5 yards per play. The offense has scored at least one rushing touchdown and one passing touchdown in 11-straight games. The Cardinals are averaging 39.8 points per game over their last five games.

Louisville defense has forced at least one turnover in 21 of the last 24 games and has won 17 consecutive games when the offense has not turned the ball over. The defense has raked up eight interceptions in the last five games including their season-best four versus Syracuse.

The last time these two times played in Lexington was in 2015, when the Cats fell 38-24. Jackson totaled 316 yards and three touchdowns. Louisville has won at the former Commonwealth Stadium three straight times. 

Both teams are hungry and determined to bring the Governor’s Cup back to their school on Nov. 25. Kickoff will be at noon.