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Friday Evening Cardinal News And Notes

Wyatt Michael Balz has spent so much of his life so far just dreaming about his first victory over Kentucky.

I_medium Spread Check: Louisville by 13.

I_medium UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown, who famously referred to Kentucky as "the show in the state" during the offseason, says he understands the importance of the rivalry.

Kentucky native Neal Brown knows what the UK-Louisville rivalry means and has tried to explain that to UK players this week going into Saturday's game in Louisville.

"We've got some highlight stuff we've shown. We educated them today about the Governor's Cup, what it means. Some of the coaches talk about their personal memories," said Brown, UK's offensive coordinator. "We're just taking a little bit of our offensive meeting and trying to educate them, especially for some young guys from out of state, educating them, teaching them what a rivalry is and a little about Kentucky-Louisville."

Brown said it was "time for us to hold up our end of the bargain" in the rivalry with Louisville, but also knows that will not be easy.

"Obviously Louisville is very, very talented on defense. They're well coached. They play hard. That's the thing that struck me last year preparing for them - and I know it's a different coaching staff, but it's a lot of the same kids - they really get after it. They rise up every week. And they play good, solid defense." Bown said.

Can't rise down, Neal.

I_medium Your standard AP preview piece of the day, which includes the fact that Louisville has lost three of its last four senior day games. The one it did win was last season's dreadful 20-13 victory over Memphis.

I_medium Rick Bozich says Louisville's biggest obstacle on Saturday might be the dreaded "Notre Dame bounce."

I say don't start there. Start here:

Oregon State 35, Arizona State 27.

Or here: North Carolina 34, Pittsburgh 27.

Or even here: Duke 34, Navy 31.

I'm talking about the Notre Dame Bounce.

A football wise guy warned me long ago about the Notre Dame Bounce. He said teams that invest a substantial amount of sweat and emotion in a victory over the Fighting Irish frequently don't play their best football the following week.

In fact, they often suffer puzzling defeats.

Louisville invested a substantial amount of sweat and emotion while securing a 31-28 victory as a three-point underdog at Notre Dame last Saturday. Louisville is the team that will have to overcome the Notre Dame Bounce Saturday at noon in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

It's a tricky thing, judging how much emotion and competitive fire is percolating in a football locker room.

I_medium Adam Himmelsbach goes through the C-J archives to dig up the coverage of Kentucky's first six wins in the rivalry series, which took place from 1912-1924 (AKA, "the glory years"). There are some gems in there, including Louisville being referred to as the "Falls City aggregation," and the most polite shot at a coaching performance you'll ever read.

I can't wait until the Card Chronicle dick jokes read just as eloquently when they're unearthed 100 years from now.

I_medium has some videos of Louisville's top commits and recruits.

I_medium Katy and Landon Coe are aware that the Cards might need a little help from the Gamecocks tomorrow.

I_medium Mark Story of the LHL serves up three questions for tomorrow's game.

2. Does UK have any hope of stopping the run?

The team that has rushed for the most yardage has claimed the Governor's Cup 18 straight years. That's probably not good for UK. In its five-game losing streak, Kentucky's run defense is surrendering a dispiriting 260.8 yards a game. In three of the five defeats (at LSU, Mississippi State and Georgia), UK has given up more than 300 yards rushing. Louisville, ranked No. 22 in this week's College Football Playoff ratings, has a stable of backs and a veteran offensive line. The Cardinals have had a rusher go for more than 100 yards in seven of their 11 games. To have any chance at an upset, Kentucky must slow down the Cardinals ground game.

3. What tricks does Mark Stoops have in store for Louisville?

A season ago, Kentucky took U of L by surprise by coming out in a 5-2 defensive front instead of its then-normal 4-3. It took Louisville the entire first half to figure out what UK was doing. Coming off an open week, with bowl eligibility hanging in the balance, Stoops and Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown have every reason to throw every trick in their playbooks at Bobby Petrino's Cardinals.

Story also predicts a 38-21 Louisville victory.

I_medium Some familiar names on this list.

I_medium Kentucky's players and coaches have spent a solid chunk of the week referring to Saturday's game against Louisville as a "playoff game."

I_medium Big time congrats to Jeff Brohm and Western Kentucky on their huge upset of previously unbeaten Marshall this afternoon.

I_medium Poor Ted.

I_medium From now through Monday, all shirts at the Strait Pinkie store are just $12. All you have to do to get the deal is use the promo code "MUCHLOVECC" when checking out. That means you can pick up this bad boy for just 12 bucks.

I_medium Elite Daily takes a look at how rivalry games would look if programs utilized their best all-time players.

I'm sure there is zero debate on this from either side.

I_medium By any measure, the rookie class of wide receivers in the NFL is easily the best in league history. Despite his injury, it's looking like a wise move by DeVante Parker to stick around for his senior season.

I_medium Easily the best celebration of the college basketball season thus far.

I_medium An update on former U of L/NFL kicker David Akers and what he sees for himself in the future.

I_medium It is now (officially) the season.

I_medium You can watch Russ Smith make his studio debut (no rapping or singing or anything) around the 4 minute mark in this video.

I_medium Earl Clark (2) and Peyton Siva (9) both crack the top 10 of this list of the best available prospects in the D League. Bryce Cotton also checks in at No. 21.

I_medium ESPN's ACC blog likes Louisville to wind up in the Music City Bowl.

I_medium Cue up the Crum GIF.

I_medium Chris Smith makes multiple appearances in this entertaining Grantland read on "Fightball."

I_medium All Friday and Saturday, the Marshall County Hoopfest and the rest of the Bluegrass Signature Series will be livestreamed here.

I_medium U of L students, here's your schedule for this year's "Finals Blitz:"

I_medium All four of ESPN's ACC writers like the Cards over the Cats, but they expect it to be tight.

I_medium And finally, beat Kentucky.