Spread check: Louisville by 5.
Mark Story of the Lexington Herald-Leader breaks down which team has the advantage in every area and then predicts a 23-21 Kentucky upset.
Saturday's game is especially personal for Louisville center Tobijah Hughley, a graduate of Lafayette High School in Lexington.
"It's going to be exciting to go back home and play in front of a bunch of family, and I'm sure it's exciting for the rest of the team," Hughley said. "Of course, (emotions) are high, but you've got to keep it in check. I'm sure the first play will be pretty intense, but after the first play, you've just got to calm down and it's football at the end of the day."
Hughley said he was a fan of UK when he was in elementary school and probably through about sixth grade.
"When you grow up in Lexington, you kind of have to be (a UK fan)," he said. "They kind of swamp you in that UK lifestyle, and that's kind of all you hear."
Hughley attended one UK camp when he was an underclassman at Lafayette, but he said Joker Phillips' staff didn't recruit him.
The C-J's Jon Hale serves up three keys to tomorrow's game for Kentucky, and then joins the ever-growing contingent of folks predicting a Wildcat upset.
Pressure the quarterback
Regardless of which quarterback Louisville starts Saturday, Kentucky's chances of pulling off the upset would be greatly aided by establishing the consistent quarterback pressure it has lacked for much of the season. Kentucky ranks 100th nationally in sacks (17), but Louisville ranks last in the country in sacks allowed (43). The good news for Kentucky is the Wildcats recorded a season-high four sacks a week ago against Charlotte. Louisville will represent a significant step up in quality of competition, but that momentum could help Saturday.
"Just like us, if you're behind in games, drop-back passing's maybe not exactly where we want to be either," Stoops said. "As you know, we have our problems with that as well. So I think staying balanced is a big part of it. I'm sure they'll want to be balanced just like we do. They have good concepts and they like getting the ball down the field when they have their time. So that will be important to get some pressure."
Kentucky 24, Louisville 21
One year after falling short of a bowl berth in a heartbreaking loss against Louisville to close the season, Kentucky has a chance to write a different ending, as one player said after the Charlotte win. Kentucky played better than expected in the 2014 loss to Louisville but failed to make the winning plays needed down the stretch. The focus this week has to be on coming through in those situations.
Ray Spalding is "eating a lot," which is good.
Kentucky's hype video for tomorrow's game is basically a bunch of highlights from the Kragthorpe years and then a current player saying "this ain't our house, but this is our state!" right before taking a loss at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
Reading about the Saint Louis game has kind of made me remember just how annoying they were for so many years. Who could forget the 2003 upset that resulted in the 7-student court storm? I'm good with making this rivalry Saturday both in football and basketball.
I'm pretty sure every single Louisville basketball player posted the same photo ....
.... on Instagram yesterday, which is pretty cool.
Our friends over at Strait Pinkie are running a Black Friday sale in which all t-shirts are just 13 bucks when you use the promo code "GRIT."
Speaking of Black Friday, yes the fight at Mall St. Matthews made national news and was an absolute embarrassment on every level, but I'd be lying if I said I'd never tackled a kid for interrupting my oversized chess match at Oxmoor back in the day.
Donovan Mitchell believes Louisville will be well-represented in its first game away from the KFC Yum Center.
Donovan Mitchell couldn't wait to get here to New York City for Saturday's 8 p.m. game at the Barclays Center against Saint Louis.
The freshman guard has enjoyed his first few months at college, but Louisville basketball's first game away from home is a homecoming for Mitchell, who grew up in and around the city. He'll have about 100 friends and family members at the game, he estimated, and they'll be sitting across from the Cards' bench.
"People I went to middle school with and haven't seen in a long time are sending me SnapChat (photos) of their tickets they have for the game," Mitchell said, a look of pleasant surprise in his eyes.
"That's just crazy."
Mark Story of the Lexington Herald-Leader says three keys will determine whether or not Kentucky will be able to spring an upset on Saturday.
Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution likes U of L to win and cover against Kentucky.
Nothing more fun than college .. Every year was a different mesmerizing experience .. Thankful for attending Univ of Louisville for 4 years.— Russ Ruby Rhod Smith (@Sir_Saudade) November 26, 2015
The ACC was the only conference in which every public school ran an athletics deficit last year.
Kentucky is one of the many teams out there that might be eligible to play in a bowl game with a 5-7 record, but UK isn't even sure if they'd accept a bid if that winds up being the case.
"I'd hate to comment on that," Coach Mark Stoops said on Wednesday as his team prepared to take on Louisville on Saturday. "We desperately want to get six. I don't want you in here asking me those questions next week. I want to be in here talking about six. So, I don't want to think about that."
If Kentucky were one of those teams to get invited to a bowl with a losing record, it sounds like the Cats would jump at the opportunity just because of the extra practices that come with postseason play.
"We need the practices," Stoops said this week. "We're getting better as the season goes on. We're developing younger players. We're getting better. We need the work."
On the other side of the fence is Louisville at 6-5.
The Cardinals coach said the idea of losing teams getting into postseason play is "something you don't want to think about. That's something that's hard to think about," Bobby Petrino said on Monday.
GoCards.com previews tomorrow night's game against Saint Louis.
As with every season, the Louisville-Kentucky football game is going to be loaded with impact players who played their high school football in the Commonwealth (of Kentucky). Steve Jones and Jeff Greer highlight the 10 most important.
A year after Charlie Strong said that Texas would "never lose 5 games again," the Longhorns took their seventh L of the 2015 season last night thanks in large part to this Texas Tech trick play with three minutes left.
A major plus to being small: The defense can't see you hiding behind the offensive line: https://t.co/vhfbIwWSIF pic.twitter.com/ot3xL43AZD— SB Nation (@SBNation) November 27, 2015
Containing Jamari Staples will be a major issue for the Kentucky secondary.
Louisville volleyball swept the ACC's postseason awards.
Sheldon Rankins, asked about his Thanksgiving plans: "I'm 300-pound defensive lineman. You can put 2 and 2 together."— Steve Jones (@SteveJones_CJ) November 25, 2015
Rankins, like DeVante Parker before him, is hoping to leave this rivalry with an unblemished record against Kentucky.
@CardChronicle holdin it down for #TheVille in Crookston, MN #happythanksgiving #L1C4 pic.twitter.com/IAO6coIUVK— Versityle Tell Em (@VTE502) November 26, 2015
The AP previews Louisville-Kentucky.
Monmouth stunned Notre Dame yesterday, and their postgame celebration was predictably rowdy.
And finally, I mentioned it earlier but R&R will be on the air today from 3-6 to break down both of tomorrow's games as well as hear your thoughts and predictions. As always, you can listen live right here.