Muay Thai Travel Guide

Although Saturday’s UK-Louisville matchup is one Muay Thai Travel Guide of the most anticipated games in recent state history, the rivalry still has a ways to go before it receives national attention, according to ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

“Nationally it’s off the radar,” Herbstreit said. “If we went to Florida or California or Texas and asked people what do you think of Louisville-Kentucky, they would say it’s a great basketball rivalry.”

Herbstreit, an analyst on ESPN College Gameday and commentator for ESPN and ABC, said Kentucky has to win more than “once every five years” for the game to matter outside the state.

“The only way this ever becomes a national rivalry outside of college basketball is for both teams to be ranked in the top 25 consistently,” Herbstreit said. “Once there’s a lot on the line for both teams, then it becomes a rivalry.”

Since the renewal of the rivalry in 1994, the first year of the Governor’s Cup, UK has only had three winning seasons. The Cats are also just 4-9 against the Cardinals since the rebirth of the rivalry.

But despite UK’s woes against Louisville, Herbstreit has reason to believe the Cats are on their way up in the national rankings after their surprising 8-5 record last year.

“The majority of their skill is back,” Herbstreit said. “They’re coming off a bowl experience in the Music City Bowl where they beat a good Clemson team, so I think the opportunity is there. Now it’s just about going out and winning games.”

If the Cats take care of business on Saturday and beat the Cardinals for the first time since 2002, expect the Cats to break into the national polls, Herbstreit said.

“I really don’t think it’s as far-fetched to think that Kentucky is a win or two away, or even a few weeks away from sneaking into the top-25,” he said.

UK picked up their climb this week in the polls, receiving nine votes in the USA Today poll after defeating Kent State on Saturday 56-20.

With the Cats moving up in the rankings and the Cardinals reeling after giving up 42 points last Thursday in a win over Middle Tennessee State, it’s not out of the question for the Cats to pull off an upset on Saturday, Herbstreit said.

“If you take advantage of playing Louisville at home and put it all together, it’s just a great game,” he said. “I remember two years ago, early in the year, Louisville and Kentucky went down to the wire. Louisville was expected to blow Kentucky out, but (UK) took advantage of the emotion of being at home. That’s what they’ll have to do again.”

In that game, a 31-24 Louisville win at Commonwealth Stadium in 2005, UK quarterback Andre Woodson was making just his second career start, a huge contrast from the experienced, All-Southeastern Conference quarterback the Cats have now.

“I think it’ll be looked at as not only a battle of two teams with a lot of tradition and great rivalry, but a battle of two first-round draft choices,” Herbstreit said. “I think (Louisville quarterback) Brian Brohm could be the No. 1 pick in the draft or right up there. I think Andre Woodson, with the year that he had (last year), he is already perceived by many NFL scouts as a first-round draft choice.

“To have two quarterbacks competing against each other in a rivalry game, that could both be drafted in the first round — what a great opportunity for Kentucky.”

Injury update

Head coach Rich Brooks announced yesterday that defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin is out for Saturday’s game against U of L after injuring his hip against Kent State, adding that he could miss a “significant amount of time.”

Defensive tackle Myron Pryor is also questionable to doubtful with a strained pectoral muscle, leaving the Cats with little depth at the defensive tackle position.

“The disheartening thing is that both of those guys are at the same position,” Brooks said. “With every body healthy there, I felt really good about the rotation and the depth and the competition. Now that’s thinned out a little bit.”

Ventrell Jenkins will likely start alongside Corey Peters at the defensive tackle positions on Saturday if Pryor is unable to start.