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What To Watch For: Kentucky Wildcats

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The last #W2W4 of the season has nothing to do with coaching for once.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

THIS TEAM SHOULD SHOW UP FOR THE SENIORS

This is a lost season and that was known a long time ago. What should also be known by everyone on this team is that the seniors on this team all decided to come to Louisville with hopes that they could take this program to the next step. While that hasn’t happened, there have been plenty of things that this group of seniors have been a big part of. They deserve for the rest of the team to give 100% for the entire game.

UofL provides one of the few opportunities in the country to close out your career against a rival. This year that rival is actually good and this team has a chance to put a damper on their season at home. This team lost all of their energy by halftime of the NC State game. The younger guys owe it to the veterans to play a full game this week.

AJ ROSE WILL SHOW WHY KENTUCKY’S RUN GAME SHOULD BE FINE NEXT SEASON

The focus on Kentucky’s offense is Benny Snell and it’s been that way for three years now. I think we will see more of AJ Rose this week than expected because UK will try to avoid passing the ball all together. Kentucky doesn’t have an awful passing game but it’s definitely not good. That means they will run Snell early and often but the’ll spell him with Rose.

Rose has a completely different body type than Snell but he’s learned to run the ball hard just the same. Rose has been a very good backup for UK and they will likely have no issue cutting down on Snell’s carries since he has two games to get to any records or accolades he’s chasing. I think that no matter how this game goes, we’ll see Rose making some big plays for the UK offense.

LOUISVILLE SHOULD BE ABLE TO KEEP THIS GAME CLOSER THAN OTHERS

I wondered aloud if Louisville could win the game last week but it was never really a possibility. The same is true for this weekend. However, Kentucky’s offense is pretty terrible and even though Louisville hasn’t stopped anyone this season I do think they could slow Kentucky down. The issues for the UK offense match pretty well with what Louisville actually can handle on the defensive side of the ball. Their receivers can’t separate and they get in their own way all the time.

Eddie Gran is a really good offensive coordinator but he never really seems to understand his personnel very well. UK runs a lot of gimmicky stuff to try to get their passing game going and they should really just be a power run team that uses play action to get guys open. They should also move Terry Wilson more to give him two options and to get receivers running away from coverage. Instead they just use normal drop backs and mix in RPOs a couple of times a games. It’s weird and the offense is bad because of it.

The offense being bad could help UofL keep this game closer than some of the others. Kentucky hasn’t scored more than two touchdowns against a power five team since September. Louisville hasn’t faced an offense this anemic since they went up against FSU. The defense should be able to get some stops and the offense could have a solid game with another week to gel with Lonnie Galloway’s game plan.

THE STANDS WILL BE BLUE

It was nice to see that the Card March was full and lively last week but the views of the stands painted the real picture. Louisville football has some die hard fans and there are also plenty of folks out there that jumped at the opportunity to go to the game for cheap (or free). This week will be different because this is a rivalry game and UK is having their best season in decades.

Kentucky fans will show up for this game and they will try to turn it into a home game. The attendance at the NC State games shows that it won’t even matter that some UofL fans are selling their tickets to Cats fans. I’m sure that will be a talking point this weekend but I don’t see why. I’m all for the push for fans to show up for this team but Lorenzo Ward said himself that the team needs to hold up their end of the bargain. Hopefully more UofL fans show up because of the holiday but I’d bet the stands are much louder when UK makes a play than the other way around.