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My Huge UK vs. UL Preview Part II

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  • My Huge UK vs. UL Preview Part II

    Part II:
    UK Offense vs. UL Defense
    Statistical Predictions
    Individual Matchup to Watch
    UK Game Ball
    UK’s Psychological Edge
    What happens in the game if UK Wins
    Ramifications of a UK win for UK

    Kentucky Offense
    When you look at the Kentucky team, Andre’ Woodson stand out as the leader of this locker room. He is the icon of Kentucky football and rightly so…but as much as people want this to be a Woodson display putting up ungodly numbers against a depressing UL defense it won’t be. UK’s has very effectively run the football in its first two games with a very athletic, well-coached offensive line. They are underrated. Rafael Little isn’t talked about, at all, yet I expect him to have a game of a lifetime against Louisville. He will be a 3rd down RB in the NFL. He has speed to the outside, and he is a great threat as a receiver and returner on special teams.

    Louisville Defense
    My oh my how things can change in one season. You just gave up 42 points to MTSU. You are playing the best offense in the SEC and imo one of the most balanced offenses in the country. The defense didn’t register a sack vs. Murray State, and so all that Peanut Whitehead/Earl Heyman hype can be shut down. Heyman did have a sack against MTSU…but that’s MTSU. UK is a much much more athletic team and won’t give Heyman any shot of getting to Woodson. I said preseason that the UL backfield was very weak. Watch for Keenan Burton to make some sick routes against these inexperienced corners. If UL is going to win this game, Malik Jackson needs to “show me something.” Andre Woodson should have plenty of time in the pocket, and when he has plenty of time he is a lock to have a big game.

    Kentucky’s pass protection vs. Louisville’s pass rush
    Edge: Kentucky
    Louisville doesn’t have a pass rush. Add in they don’t have depth, and UK has pretty good depth on the OL and you have a recipe for Woodson to: take an umbrella, cooler full of beer, and television set with satellite to see what is happening in the USC-Nebraska game before he throws a 53 yard bomb to Keenan Burton.

    Kentucky’s passing attack vs. Louisville’s pass coverage.
    Edge: Kentucky
    While I fully expect the game plan to be for Kentucky to dominate the running game to set up the pass, they will utilize the best arm in the country in Andre Woodson. Keenan Burton might be the best route runner in college football. He will have a big game. Jacob Tamme is the best TE in the SEC and catches everything thrown his way. Dicky Lyons is one of Woodson’s favorite target and when teams double team Burton he makes them pay. Louisivlle’s defensive backs don’t impress me at all, and you have to question the linebacker’s coverage skills when MTSU puts up 42 points on them.

    Kentucky’s running game vs. Louisville’s Front 7
    Edge: Kentucky
    Kentucky’s strategy in the running game is a little different than Louisville. UK really doesn’t run between the tackles too much, but from what I have seen so far they have been successful when doing so. They love to run the ball outside with Rafael Little, Tony Dixon, and Alfonso Smith (fastest player on the team). Player to keep an eye on is John Conner. He is the 2nd best fullback in the SEC outside of Peyton Hills. A great blocker and defenses never take him to account yet he is a powerful interior runner. Louisville’s DL hasn’t impressed at all. No reason to think they can stop Kentucky doing anything.

    Statistical Predictions
    Kentucky:
    Andre’ Woodson: 22-29, 304 yards, 4 TDs
    Rafael Little: 21 Touches, 212 All-Purpose Yards, 2 TDs
    Tony Dixon: 6 CAR, 42 yards, 1 TD
    John Conner, 2 CAR, 9 yards, 1 TD
    Keenan Burton: 9 REC, 131 yards, 2 TDs
    Dicky Lyons: 5 REC, 76 yards
    Jacob Tamme: 4 REC, 55 yards, 1 TD

    Louisville:
    Malik Jackson: 13 tackles
    Lamar Myles: 11 tackles
    Earl Heyman: 4 tackles, .5 sacks
    Peanut Whitehead: 3 tackles, .5 sacks

    Individual Matchup to Watch:
    Kentucky RG Jason Leger vs. Louisville DT Earl Heyman
    I have to agree with Todd McShay of Scouts Inc. in that this is the matchup to watch, but in my reasonsing maybe it is only the matchup worth watching. Leger is smaller (6’2, 277), but he is quick, plays with good technique, and has a nasty demeanor. I expect him to win this battle, but Heyman might get to Woodson once just based on pure athleticism for a play. That said, Heyman shoud get dominated vs. the run. This is Leger’s forte especially against a smaller player like Heyman.

    UK Game Ball:
    This is maybe the easiest prediction of my entire preview. If UK wins this game, it should (and better) put Rafael Little on the national map of runningbacks. He is versatile, athletic, and makes highlight reel plays. He is going to put up big numbers in this game, and for good reason. UL’s defense is bad and he will expose them much worse than MTSU did.

    UK Psychological Edge:
    Advantage: Kentucky
    I was being polite to Louisville. Very polite. Mainly I did it to be fair, but honestly, they have no psychological edge in this game. Kentucky seems to be going into this game with all the momentum. They have the home crowd who has been at near max capacity for NCAA powerhouses EKU and Kent State. The media has fallen in love with Brian Brohm. Andre’ Woodson has never beaten him going back to their high school days of Louisville Trinity vs. North Hardin.

    This team has something to prove. They have never beaten Louisville in the past 4 years. Steve Kragthorpe doesn’t understand this rivalry and he doesn’t understand how big of a game this is much like Rich Brooks didn’t his first year at Kentucky.

    What happens in the game if UK wins:
    UL imo will step up on defense a little bit. It’s a rivalry game, I think they don’t want to be embarrassed. But when the clock hits 00:00 Kentucky will have dominated offensively and made enough plays to give their team the ball back. Brian Brohm has an average game. He gets rattled by the crowd and he gets pressured by Kentucky’s DL. It could be like the 2nd half of the Rice game last season. And why not?

    What happens to UK the rest of the season if they win this game:

    Wow. I mean wow. Kentucky is on the map. Lee and Kirk can’t stop gushing about Andre’ Woodson, Rafael Little, and Keenan Burton on gameday. Kentucky goes on to lose to Arkansas on the road, but they pull off huge wins against South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee to finish the season 9-3 and will play in a big bowl game.

    FINAL PREDICTION:
    Kentucky 48
    Louisville 38
    2014-2015 Kentucky Wildcats (38-1)

    Congrats to Wisconsin. Even more congrats to UK haters.


  • #2
    I have a similar final score on my college picks page.

    Awesome write-up; I agree with everything. Kentucky will have so much more energy than Louisville. Reminds me of the 2005 Ohio State at Penn State game when the Nittany Lions' crowd and senior QB (Michael Robinson) carried them to victory over the higher-ranked team.
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