Sunday, September 2 • 3:30 p.m. • ESPN
Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium (55,000/FieldTurf)
ESPN — Carter Blackburn, Rod Gilmore and Jemele Hill
BIG EAST/IMG Sports National Radio Game of the Week
WHAS-AM 840 (flagship)
Sirius 91; XM 91
THE GAME • THE GOVERNOR’S CUP
Sunday’s game will be the 24th meeting between Louisville and Kentucky … The Cardinals snapped a four-game series slide with last year’s 24-17 win in Lexington, improving Louisville to 10-14 all-time against the Wildcats … The last meeting in 2010 was the head coaching debut for both Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Kentucky’s Joker Phillips.
Charlie Strong (Central Arkansas ’82) - LISTEN TO TELECONFERENCE
7-6, second season at Louisville
7-7, second full season as collegiate head coach
Louisville enters the season ranked No. 25 in the preseason Associated Press poll, giving the Cardinals their first national ranking since the 2007 season … It is the first time that Louisville has been ranked in an AP preseason poll since the Cardinals were No. 10 in the 2007 ranking … Louisville is the overwhelming favorite in this year’s BIG EAST preseason media poll as the Cardinals received 24 of a possible 28 first-place votes … Louisville returns 17 starters from last year’s team, which won five of its last six regular-season games to claim a share of the BIG EAST title … Each of Louisville’s six losses was to an opponent that played in the postseason last year … QB Teddy Bridgewater started the last 10 games as a true freshman in 2011 and was unanimously chosen as the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year … Bridgewater threw for 2,129 yards and 14 touchdowns with 12 interceptions … The Cardinals have nine starters back on a defense that ranked 10th nationally against the run (103.5 ypg) and 14th in scoring (19.2 ppg) in 2011 … S Hakeem Smith and CB Adrien Bushell were both All-BIG EAST First Team picks in the secondary … Smith is a two-time All-BIG EAST selection and was the 2010 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year … Louisville returns two starters at linebacker and four starters on the defensive line.
Joker Phillips (Kentucky ’86)
11-14, third season
Kentucky was 5-7 overall and 2-6 in the Southeastern Conference, finishing in a tie for fourth place in the SEC Eastern Division in 2011 … The Wildcats return 11 starters from last year … Sophomore QB Maxwell Smith was named the Opening Day starter behind center, edging veteran QB Morgan Newton, who was recovering from shoulder surgery during the spring … Smith threw for 819 yards and four touchdowns with four interceptions last season … The Wildcats return their top four rushers from last year, with RB CoShik Williams leading the way with 486 yards and three touchdowns … WR La’Rod King had team highs with 40 catches, 598 receiving yards and seven touchdown receptions … Kentucky has three returning starters on the defensive line, including DE Collins Ukwu, who had 6.5 tackles for loss in 2011 … Kentucky’s schedule features a run of 10 consecutive games before a Nov. 10 open date … The Wildcats have lost eight straight road games, with the last road win coming against Louisville to start the 2010 season.