BOZICH | Cats, Cards, Cats and now Cards again favored in Governor's Cup
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville has huffed and puffed but beaten Boston College and Wake Forest the last two weekends.
Kentucky has looked shakier, but against better competition. The Wildcats were outscored 94-37 by Mississippi State and Tennessee the last two Saturdays.
Kentucky has lost three straight, while Louisville has won four of five.
The guys who make their livings wagering on college football games have noticed the trend lines.
In late May, Kentucky was favored by a single point in the Governor’s Cup game between the programs, which is booked for Nov. 28 at Commonwealth Stadium.
By late August, the line had shifted in favor of Louisville by two points.
Hold on. On Oct. 15, Kentucky was posted as the favorite by 1 ½ points.
On Monday, Chris Andrews of AgainstTheNumber.com said there had been another shift in the action. Louisville was now favored by 4 ½ points.
If you’ve been paying attention and played both sides of this game at the right time, you could make serious money on a one-point game.
If you believe in Jeff Sagarin’s computer formula predictor ratings, there’s more. Sagarin has Louisville favored in three of its final four games – Syracuse and Virginia at home and at Kentucky.
ESPN’s football power index also has U of L favored against Syracuse, Virginia and UK (58.2 percent win probability)
Sagarin’s numbers only tilt in favor of the Wildcats in one of their final four games – Charlotte. Sagarin has UK listed as an 13.74 point underdog at Georgia Saturday, a 1.24-point underdog at Vanderbilt and the underdog by 6.82 points against the Cardinals.
ESPN’s football power index favors the Wildcats against Charlotte. That’s it.
That’s not the reason that Louisville coach Bobby Petrino appeared to be in a great mood Monday while previewing the Cardinals’ home game with Syracuse this weekend. But Petrino was cracking jokes and having fun with the questions.
Some highlights from the press conference:
*Petrino was blunt when asked what his offense needed to do – score more points.
"We have to execute, you know we have to drive the ball, mix the run and the pass, the play-action game, get to third down and know we are going to have it protected, keep our vision downfield and make the throws into tight coverage," Petrino said.
"I feel good in one aspect that I feel James Quick and (Jamari) Staples are really doing a great job for us getting open on time and catching contested passes and making plays.
"We are not consistent at all and we have to quit hurting ourselves, we continue to hurt ourselves with negative plays or penalties and when you are moving backwards all the time, it puts a lot of pressure on you. If you can go through a game and always go forward on every situation, then you have a chance to be consistent. We are starting to get more explosive plays, more chunk plays down the field and that should help us score more points."
*Petrino said that reserve quarterback Reggie Bonnafon’s status for the Syracuse game Saturday was uncertain as Bonnafon recovered from a concussion that he suffered against Wake Forest. Bonnafon will continue to be examined in the concussion protocol.
The coach said there was a chance that quarterback Lamar Jackson would be able to play through an ankle injury. Jackson was listed as the starter on U of L’s media notes for the Syracuse game, although Kyle Bolin played quarterback down the stretch against Wake Forest.
"I just thought it was the best decision to make at the time," Petrino said. "Not only was it just looking and seeing how (Jackson's) moving around, but sometimes it's body language and the look in their eye.
“I made the decision we needed to put Kyle in and execute our offense with him in there, and I thought he did a really nice job. He moved the ball. We got it in scoring position. It's too bad we didn't finish it off with a touchdown or a field goal, but we did move the ball real well with him in there."
*Petrino also said that he was “hopeful,” that defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, the anchor of the Cards’ defensive line, would play Saturday. Rankins missed most of the second half with an unspecified leg injury.
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