Kentucky vs. Louisville: Keys to the game

September 13, 2013 

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UK running back Raymond Sanders, left, runs upfield in the first half. The University of Kentucky Football team hosted Miami (Ohio). Saturday, Sept. 07, 2013 at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington. Photo by Jonathan Palmer

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Quick facts about Saturday's University of Kentucky football home game against the University of Louisville:

THE GAME

No. 7 Louisville (2-0) at Kentucky (1-1)

When: Noon

Where: Commonwealth Stadium

TV: ESPN

Radio: WLAP-AM 630, WBUL-FM 98.1, XM Channel 199, Sirius Channel 98

Series: Kentucky leads 14-11 overall; Louisville leads modern series (since 1994) 11-8

Last meeting: Louisville won 32-14 on Sept. 2, 2012, at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Line: Louisville is favored by 14 points.

THE KEYS

Force turnovers

With Heisman Trophy candidate Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback, a bevy of talented wide-outs led by DeVante Parker and Damian Copeland and a stable of capable backs that includes ex-Auburn star Michael Dyer, Louisville might have the best offensive skill talent in the country. A UK defense that surrendered 487 yards to Western Kentucky is not yet at a level to stop such a lethal, balanced attack. However, if UK can force turnovers, that can be a great equalizer.

Control the football

One way for Kentucky to keep Louisville's offense from hurting it is to keep the Cardinals off the field. It is incumbent for UK's Air Raid 2.0 offense to convert first downs and limit three-and-outs. Against a U of L defense allowing only 239 yards a game, UK needs to produce clock-consuming drives — that end in points — to stay in the game.

Hang around

Coming off an 11-2 season a year ago, Louisville is not only projected to win every game this season against its less-than-inspiring schedule, the Cardinals are expected to win every game big. If Kentucky can somehow keep the score close into the fourth period, the pressure on the Cards will become industrial-strength heavy.

THE MOOD

Perked up after a host of young UK play-makers showed promise in a decisive Wildcats victory over a bad Miami (Ohio). Only the most wild-eyed UK backers give the Cats even a shot at victory against deep, experienced and talented Louisville. Still, it will be interesting to see if new Cats Coach Mark Stoops can get his team to play as if it believes it can win.

MARK STORY

Mark Story: (859) 231-3230. Email: mstory@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @markcstory. Blog: markstory.bloginky.com.

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