Despite recent plummet, Louisville football still owns Mark Stoops

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 25: Lamar Jackson
LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 25: Lamar Jackson /

Since Mark Stoops took over at Kentucky, the Louisville football program has asserted themselves as the better team. We take look back at recent history between the two programs, and the overall dominance by the Cards.

I’m going to start this piece by saying this. Louisville football owns Kentucky.

Let’s start with when Mark Stoops arrived in Lexington, 2013. Stoops came from Florida State were he was the defensive coordinator for 3 years. When he was given the Kentucky job many Blue Blood fans were hopeful he could revive a program that went 2-10 the previous year, and 5 years later and things are starting to look up for the Cats.

But not when it comes to playing in-state rival Louisville- forget about it.

Since 2013 the Cardinals have established a 4-1 record over Kentucky, winning games by an average margin of 14.75 points per game. The last time the Cats beat the Cards you ask? 2016 when a Kentucky team lead by Stephen Johnson came to then Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and hung 41 on Louisville.

What can you say? Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. Probably because it would it enhance his other senses, but that is neither here nor there.

Here is a summary for the previous 5 games year-by-year.

2013: Louisville favorite by 14 1/2 points. A very tough Kentucky defense held Louisville to 10 first-half points. The Cardinals roared back in the 2nd half after establishing a running game with 242 yards. Teddy Bridgewater went 16 of 18 for 250 yards. Kentucky’s, what they thought was a lethal air-raid offense, was stopped when Maxwell Smith went out with an injury. Cards win 27-13.

2014: Louisville favorite by 14. Even before things got underway there was a massive brawl between both teams, and I’m sure many fans remember Petrino getting into it with a Kentucky “assistant.” The Cats carried the momentum over and pounced early to take a 13-0 lead. When Reggie Bonnafon went out with an injury, that left Kyle Bolin to quarterback the team. He came in and threw for 3 touchdowns and 381 yards. A late Patrick Towles interception to Gerrod Holliman sealed the victory for the Cards. It also caused the Cats to finish 5-7 and Bolin kept them from bowling. Cards win 44-40.

2015: Louisville favorite by 5 1/2. When Drew Barker and the Cats took an early 21-0 lead, it was time to introduce Lamar Jackson to the world. Lamar would tear the Wildcat defense up for 186 rushing yards with 2 touchdowns, and 130 passing yards with 1 touchdown. This win secured a 5 game winning streak for the Cardinals over Kentucky and once again kept Kentucky from playing in a bowl game. Cards win 38-24.

2016: Louisville favorite by 27. Stephen Johnson decided it was time to have the game of his life time. He threw for 388 yards with 3 touchdowns and basically toyed with the Cardinals secondary, in a game that spelled the end of the Bobby Petrino/Todd Grantham era. A late turnover by Lamar Jackson (4 total in-game) gave Austin MacGinnis a chance to hit a 47 yard field goal with 12 seconds remaining, and it was a chance he didn’t miss. Cats win 41-38.

2017: Louisville favorite by 10 1/2. What many fans will remember about this game is Jordan Jones attempting to fight Lamar Jackson. Jackson was quoted after the game saying:

"“There was stuff said, They wanted to fight, we wanted to win.”"

Whether it was Stoops’ idea or not it didn’t work. Jackson would go on to account for 372 total yards with 2 touchdowns. Cards win 44-17.

What has caused the recent domination by the Cardinals? To me it comes down 1 thing…

Quality of Players:

It’s hard to beat a team that has had 21 players drafted to the NFL since 2013 like Louisville has. Many recent greats have taken the field and proven why the Cards are just better than the Cats. Some of the more notable players are as follows:

  1. Preston Brown
  2. Teddy Bridgewater
  3. Jamon Brown
  4. Devante Parker
  5. Sheldon Rankins
  6. Lamar Jackson
  7. Jaire Alexander

In that same time span Kentucky has had 5 total players drafted with the most well-known being Bud Dupree, who now plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

How can the Cardinals beat the Wildcats once again this year? 

The answer is easy, doing it isn’t.

Kentucky’s sole offense this year is Benny Snell, or as I like to call their team “Benny and the Jets.” As he goes so do the Cats. He has 1,205 yards rushing and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry with 12 touchdowns. In order to win we will have to make Terry “Touchdown” Wilson throw the ball. This year he has 8 touchdowns to 7 interceptions with a very low QBR of 46.0.

As to why they call him Terry Touchdown I still haven’t figured that out.


Being a hardcore Louisville fan who has an extreme hatred for Kentucky, you will likely never hear/see me pick them. But this year I have returned to planet Earth and will be real. After thinking the Cards would be motivated to play N.C. State and then to get a performance like they put out, I expect a similar result. Louisville won’t stop Benny Snell and whoever plays quarterback for Louisville won’t get things going. Cats will win easy 41-13.

Next. Despite terrible season, Louisville Football still on Collision Course. dark

Kentucky fans don’t need to get used to this because Cardinal football will be back to dominance very soon. Let’s just hope the boys have fun Saturday and attempt to get our 3rd W. As always GO CARDS!!!