Well that wasn't very creative.
Brian Bennett wrote a story yesterday that focused on how Louisville players are making a concerted effort not to respond to some of the comments coming out of the mouths of Kentucky players. While the barbs being hurled from about 70 miles to the East are nowhere near as intense as some of the things we heard in the days leading up to last season's third game, there have been some fairly aggressive statements made by some guys who have never tasted victory in this rivalry.
"Are they really like this? Are they really getting all the hype they're getting with a defense like this? They got exposed."---Maurice Grinter
"I had to adapt to the rivalry, rather than being a part of it from day one. Now I accept it as a rivalry, and every time we play them I feel just as much hate for them."---Braxton Kelly
"I'm tired of it. I'm tired of hearing about how great Louisville is. I'm going to come out with fire in my heart for this game."---Alfonso Smith
"It's something we've all been looking forward to. To go out and beat them is going to feel great."---Garry Williams
Even Rich Brooks' daughter Kerri has gotten into the fun, taking time out of a recent story she wrote for the Kentucky Sports Report website about the start of the football season to take a few shots at new Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe.
The main reason I say this, is the two programs have coaches who have entirely different approaches to coaching and winning. You have a coach at Louisville who left most of his starters in the majority of the game. I couldn't believe that some of his key players were not pulled by the 4th quarter. Why would you want to leave your starting quarterback in the game late into the final quarter when there is no chance the other team can come back? Why would you also want to leave these players in to run the score up on an opponent who has been completely out matched? If someone had suffered a devastating injury, would it have been worth it?
Kentucky doesn't believe in running scores up, Brooks never has. (Well, and I say this jokingly: Perhaps only against a team that has been running scores up on everyone, and whom is your biggest rival!) OK, seriously, that is just me talking (but I think I like that idea!). However, it doesn't make sense to leave key players in when it is a perfect time to try out some younger less experienced players to see what they are capable on the field. Comparing scores of these games is ridiculous, particularly when Murray St. won only one game last year. Can you really compare an apple with an orange?
I would point out that Brian Brohm (Louisville's starting quarterback) took just one snap in the second half of the Murray State game (it was a touchdown pass) before handing the reigns over to Hunter Cantwell (who threw just two passes), who was then succeeded by third-stringer Tyler Wolfe (who handed the ball off to walk-on running back Blayne Donnell on eight straight plays to end the game), but far be it from me to let facts stand in Kerri's way.
At least we both share an affinity for the parentheses (call me).
UK's scattering of football billboards across the Derby City is the angle the AP chose to use for its write-up of the game, so you can find this story - more or less - in just about every media outlet outside the Commonwealth.
You're getting paid for this, at least have the decency to take two seconds and run a Google search in order to make sure you're not butchering the name of one of the best football players in the state you live in and are writing for.
John Clay - he of readable LHL content fame - warns Big Blue fans that Louisville's defense is unlikey to perform as poorly on Saturday as it did last Thursday.
Brooks confirmed yesterday that defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin is out for Saturday's game because of a hip injury, and added that he will likely miss "a significant amount of time." The news was slightly better for fellow tackle Myron Pryor, whose status for Saturday was described by Brooks as "questionable to doubtful" as he nurses a strained pectoral muscle.
A coach listing a player as doubtful on the Tuesday before a big game generally means that you can expect to see the player in question on the field four days later, but Brooks is a pretty straight shooter so I wouldn't be surprised if Myron is held out for at least this weekend. You have to hope Pryor will be healthy enough to at least see the field for a series or two because you'd hate to see such a talented local kid miss out on what could very well be the best U of L/UK game of the modern era. Also, best wishes for a speedy recovery to Lumpkin, who should at least be back for the heart of Kentucky's SEC schedule.
USA Today has one of the few Brohm/Woodson stories worth reading.
Willie Williams spoke to the media for the first time yesterday, and though it has been inexplicably left off of the C-J's website, Brian Bennett's feature piece on the Cardinal linebacker is a must read this morning.
After two full weeks of play, Brian Brohm sits atop SI.com's "Heisman Watch." He's followed by Colt Brennan, Pat White, Darren McFadden, Tashard Choice, Ray Rice, Tim Tebow, Steve Slaton, DeSean Jackson and Chase Daniel.
One of the best things about this game being played on the third week of the season is that you're seeing a lot more people donning the red or the blue than you have in prior years, simply because this is now "UL/UK Week" and not just the final week of the offseason. Sure, I got a few odd looks when I went out to get the paper this morning in nothing but my Carmody jersey, but I didn't hear anyone complaining when Ashley Judd did the same thing for that Kentucky hockey poster a few years ago (think smaller chest, shorter hair, and a better ass).
And on that note, I'm out like Shinzo Abe for the morning.