UK Football

Kentucky vs. Louisville: Keys to the game

CMU's Mike Petrucci, left, couldn't catch UK running back Josh Clemons durilng this second half run during the University of Kentucky vs. Central Michigan University football game on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky.   Kentucky won 27-13. Photo by David Perry  |  Staff
CMU's Mike Petrucci, left, couldn't catch UK running back Josh Clemons durilng this second half run during the University of Kentucky vs. Central Michigan University football game on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 27-13. Photo by David Perry | Staff

Louisville (1-1) at Kentucky (2-0)

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

TV: ESPNU

Radio: WLAP-AM 630, WBUL-FM 98.1, XM Channel 201, Sirius Premier Package Channel 218

Series: Kentucky leads 14-9 overall; in the modern series (since 1994), Louisville leads 9-8 but UK has won four straight

Last meeting: Kentucky won 23-16 on Sept. 4, 2010, at Louisville

Line: Kentucky by 5 1/2

The keys

Run the ball

How important is the ground attack in the Governor's Cup? The team that has rushed for the most yards has won the game 15 years in a row. How much have the injuries to Kentucky's veteran offensive line and starting halfback Raymond Sanders negated what in the summer looked like a distinct UK advantage?

Throw the ball

To clear space to run the ball, Kentucky has to throw well enough to keep Louisville's defense honest. Expect Charlie Strong to stack the box and make Morgan Newton (44.4 percent completion percentage in 2011) and Kentucky's erratic receiving corps (more drops than a bad cellphone carrier) beat the Cardinals. The U of L cornerbacks are thought to be vulnerable, but is UK's air attack good enough to take advantage?

Get the quarterback

Louisville has five new starters on its offensive line, including a true freshman and a redshirt freshman. In two games, the Cards' line has already allowed seven sacks. Rick Minter was brought in to install an attacking defense at UK. Here is where that needs to pay off.

The mood

UK's fan base seems somewhere between apathy and anger toward its football program. After Louisville, Kentucky's next three games are Florida, at LSU and at South Carolina. Joker Phillips and Co. can use all the goodwill they can bank before that brutal stretch. A win over Louisville in any sport is always a boon for a Kentucky coach.

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