LEXINGTON, KY. (WDRB) – For the second straight season, the postseason fate of the Kentucky Wildcats hinges on the outcome of their regular season finale against the Louisville Cardinals.
Last year things didn’t turn out well for the Wildcats (5-6) who lost to the Cardinals (6-5) 44-40. But that was at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Now the scene shifts to Commonwealth Stadium and Mark Stoops knows having the home field edge could be the key to victory.
“We need to use that home field advantage to help us,” said Stoops Monday at his weekly press conference. “We need the stadium packed and need a great environment to root this team on and cheer them on to get our sixth win.”
UK is searching for its first win over Louisville since 2010. With so much on the line, Stoops expects his team to come out emotionally charged for the rivalry game. But at the same time, he knows everyone has to keep their emotions in check.
“Any rivalry game, there is going to be more emotions involved and we have to be able to handle that,” Stoops. “If you go to last year, some of the emotions really hurt us. When we go score a touchdown and have some guys that aren’t normally on the sidelines and they run out onto the field and get a 15-yard penalty. That kind of stuff we can’t have.”
Stoops said Monday he will talk to his players about avoiding a pregame altercation like the one that happened last season. He wants them focused and not distracted.
“It is the team that is the most prepared. It is about execution and our team will be motivated to play.”
Kickoff is Saturday at noon at Commonwealth Stadium.
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