It's game week, and the Monday Morning Meeting features some game faces -- particularly when it comes to breaking down the University of Louisville against the University of Kentucky.
1. Louisville remains a two-touchdown favorite to defeat Kentucky Sunday in the season opener for both teams. What do the Wildcats have to do to deliver an upset?
RICK BOZICH: Sneak Tim Couch into the backfield? Ask Corey Peters if he's available Sunday afternoon?
Can't do it? OK, then the Wildcats need to do this: Run the ball. And stop the run. Stop the run. And run the ball. It's been the formula that has worked most years in this game, especially for the team trying to deliver an upset.
Winning the line of scrimmage is always a good way to win any game. For Kentucky, a solid running game would keep Teddy Bridgewater off the field and negate the home-field advantage.
ERIC CRAWFORD: That's solid advice. Also solid: Win the battle of special teams. My U of L depth chart is showing no one on the two deep who has ever made a punt, a kickoff, an extra point or a field goal in a college game.
Want to help your offense out? Turn in a big play or two on special teams. Create a short field. Get a runback.
Also if you're UK, you want to score first, and score early. Put some pressure on the young U of L team.
2. The Cards are expected to win -- and many of their fans believe they will win big. Which Cards' unit are you going to keep an eye on?
RICK: I'm feeling really old-fashioned following up my first answer with this one, but I want to see Louisville's offensive line knock somebody around and off the line of scrimmage. Scoring wasn't always easy for the Cards last season. The offensive line was nothing spectacular. Who can forget the camera shots of the unrelenting shots that Bridgewater took in the Belk Bowl?
Louisville has a veteran offensive line. It's time that they played like a veteran offensive line. Charlie Strong wants to run the football. He'll be watching his line, too.
ERIC: I actually think the U of L defense bears more watching than the offense, particularly when I look at the three-deep and see seven true freshmen. While coaches seem satisfied with what they've seen up front and in the secondary, you've heard relatively little about linebackers.
Then the depth chart came out Sunday and while there were no surprises with Preston Brown the starter in the middle and Daniel Brown on the weak side, George Durant, a former walk-on without a start to his name, has jumped to No. 1 at strong-side linebacker. That's mainly because Deiontrez Mount, a hybrid player who has made five starts at LB, has moved down to back up Marcus Smith at defensive end. Mount lining up on the line gives you basically an additional linebacker with run-stopping ability.
It could actually be a good development for the U of L D that coaches have the confidence with Durant to go with him, but let's see how it all looks.
A couple of three-and-outs on UK's first possessions could get the Wildcats into a "here we go again," mentality.
3. Other than the UK-U of L game, which opening weekend game do you most want to see and why?
RICK: Michigan and Alabama. First of all, I applaud both programs for playing this game. Look at some of the other games being played on opening weekend and you realize how special a game like this is.
Secondly, a Michigan win is a bit of a story-changer for this season. The SEC has inhaled everything in its path for about six years. We start every season believing the BCS title game will be the SEC champ against the next best team in the country.
A Michigan win would give the Big Ten a reason to take the bag off its head. An Alabama win would mean we're starting this season with business as usual.
ERIC: No question, that's the game of the week. But I'm going to give you five others, because it's a really good opening weekend. Tennessee is at a pretty good N.C. State team, which could give the Volunteer faithful a head start on the dump Dooley bandwagon. Penn State's return to Beaver Stadium (to face Ohio U) in its first game post-Paterno will be high drama. Then you've got another decent SEC-ACC matchup in Clemson at Auburn. Even better is an SEC matchup with South Carolina traveling to Vandy. Big East types will be rooting for Boise State when it goes into East Lansing to face Michigan State. There's plenty to keep an eye on.
Copyright 2012 WDRB News. All RIghts Reserved.
Sign Up for the WDRB Sports Newsletter
Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:03 PM EDT2013-05-21 16:03:47 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- This has a familiar sound. Bobby Petrino takes over a program making a conference change and looks to lift it in stature.The new Western Kentucky University coach was at the ConferenceMore >>
In Eric Crawford's "Morning Line," Bobby Petrino says he's not patient and wants to get WKU "cranked up pretty good" in a hurry, plus John Calipari's storm donation and more.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 10:38 PM EDT2013-05-21 02:38:47 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Teddy Bridgewater doesn't ask for much. So when he told University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson that he wanted to ask somethingMore >>
Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is certainly going to be a Heisman Trophy candidate to start next season, but he has told coaches he doesn't want a Heisman publicity campaign.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 12:41 AM EDT2013-05-20 04:41:21 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The scene is always the same. After every University of Kentucky basketball home game, the coach walks across the Rupp Arena court, puts on his headset and starts talking withMore >>
Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari will do things a bit differently with his young but talented Wildcats team this season.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:54 AM EDT2013-05-18 11:54:38 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Longtime golf commentator and 1964 U.S. Open champion Ken Venturi died today, and there's nearly no need to add to the tributes that surely will come, because there's a greatMore >>
Ken Venturi left a lasting memory in Louisville when he opened Hunting Creek Country Club's championship course with a record that still stands, and with a simple gesture to a sportswriter 25 years later.More >>
Tuesday, May 14 2013 5:25 PM EDT2013-05-14 21:25:36 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- I like Andrew Wiggins. Here's a kid who didn't want to make a spectacle of his recruitment, despite being the top-ranked basketball recruit in the nation and being hailed as theMore >>
Eric Crawford surveys the carnage of the Andrew Wiggins circus, and ponders what it means for the future of civilization.More >>
Sunday, May 12 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-13 03:30:46 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Alabama football coach Nick Saban simply said out loud what people have been talking about for some time last week during a stop on his offseason "Crimson Caravan."RespondingMore >>
Alabama coach Nick Saban's idea for power conference football team to play only teams from other elite conferences sounds good -- but most programs would never accept it.More >>