Louisville vs. Kentucky prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the Bluegrass State matchup between the Cardinals and Wildcats.
Louisville vs. Kentucky Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 26 – 12:00 p.m. ET
Where: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Louisville was blown out by Houston, ending the Cardinals’ hopes of making the College Football Playoff. Quarterback Lamar Jackson had absolutely no time against the Cougars, as the offensive line was regularly beaten at the snap.
Kentucky became bowl eligible with a win over Austin Peay, making it the first time in the Mark Stoops era that the Wildcats will play in the postseason. Running back Benny Snell continued his solid freshman season, rushing for 152 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
What To Know About Louisville
That wasn’t the Cardinals team that we have seen all season long in the loss to Houston, as the offense could get absolutely nothing going and the protection for Jackson was nonexistent. Don’t expect another performance like that, though, as Kentucky’s defense has been allowing a lot of yards this season, ranking No. 82 in total defense by giving up 428.5 yards per game.
Louisville’s defense, on the other hand, has been solid, and will look to slow down both Snell and Boom Williams and make Stephen Johnson throw the ball. The Cardinals allow only 292.2 yards per game.
What to Know About Kentucky
The Wildcats miss Drew Barker at quarterback, as the starter has been out for most of the season. Leading the offense has fallen on the shoulders of Johnson, who has been inconsistent. The rushing duo of Snell and Williams has been solid, though, and the Wildcats will lean on their legs to move the ball and put up some points against the solid Louisville defensive unit.
Slowing down Jackson might be impossible – Houston came close – but containing him is a must for the Wildcats. Overpowering the Cardinals offensive line and putting pressure on the Heisman Trophy frontrunner could lead to some success.
Offense: Louisville. Jackson has been amazing all season. Will he top it off with another win over the in-state rival Wildcats?
Defense: Louisville. The Cardinals allow just 21.7 points per game.
Special Teams: Louisville. The Cardinals’ kickers have only missed one extra point out of 64 attempts this season.
Coaching: Louisville. Love him or hate him, Bobby Petrino is a winner.
Intangibles: Kentucky. Last year’s second half collapse against Louisville is on the Wildcats’ minds.
Matchup To Watch
Lamar Jackson vs. Heisman Trophy expectations
Even after an off day against Houston, Jackson is still the front runner. Will that pressure get to him?
Louisville vs. Kentucky Betting Odds
Spread: Louisville -24
Over/Under: Not available at time of publication.
Louisville vs. Kentucky Prediction
The hopes for a College Football Playoff spot vanished with the loss to Houston, but Louisville still has a lot to play for, including Jackson, who needs just another big game to stretch his lead in the Heisman race. Expect Kentucky to come out fired up and keep it close for a while, but Jackson will put on another display of pure athleticism that shows why he is the best player in the nation as Louisville pulls away in the end.
Louisville vs. Kentucky Score Prediction: Louisville 41, Kentucky 23