LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – After listening to Mark Stoops at his weekly press conference, it is clear Saturday’s matchup with Louisville means more than just in state bragging rights.
To Stoops, it’s about finishing strong and progress.
“There’s a lot at stake,” said Stoops. “Eight wins, I don’t think it’s been done in what, 33 years? That means something to me.”
Stoops is correct. The Cats have in fact not won eight wins in a season since 1984. They also haven’t finished a year without back to back loses since 1977.
But accomplishing both feats is not going to be easy this weekend. On Monday, Stoops announced junior tight end CJ Conrad would miss the game and the rest of the season with a foot injury.
On top of that, the Wildcats are getting set to face a determined Lamar Jackson who will be looking to atone for his mistakes in last year’s U of L loss at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. If you recall, Jackson turned the ball over twice in the final two minutes in a 41-38 loss.
Stoops said Monday, Jackson is just as good as was last year when he won the Heisman and maybe even a little better.
“He was excellent a year ago, he’s excellent now. I think where you see the growth is just the poise maybe in the pocket and the time to distribute the ball.”
Saturday’s matchup at Kroger Field will be the 30th in the all-time series. Kentucky owns a slight 15-14 edge but they actually 9-8 in games played in Lexington.
Kickoff is at noon Saturday in Kroger Field.
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