The Louisville Cardinals and Kentucky Wildcats open their football seasons against each other next weekend. UK and UL will battle for the Governor’s Cup Sunday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Coach Charlie Strong’s Cardinals are coming off two consecutive bowl appearances and were the Big East co-champions last season.
U of L is ranked 25th in the AP pre-season poll, but Strong says it means little.
"I don’t even talk to our players about it, because I want them to understand that you have to work. It doesn’t matter where you start, it’s going to be about where we finish. That’s why we have to finish every play, finish everything we do," Strong said at his weekly press conference Monday.
This will likely be a make-or-break year for UK coach Joker Phillips who, like Strong, is starting his third season. The Wildcats struggled to a 5-7 record last season, and were 6 and 7 with a bowl appearance the previous year. Phillips said Monday at his weekly press conference that winning the season opener would set a positive tone for the rest of the season.
"The team that’s won this game usually comes out of this thing with momentum. We need the momentum and they need the momentum. That’s why it will be a great game. Regardless of who’s favored, regardless of who’s in the top 25," Phillips said.
Louisville defeated Kentucky last year in Lexington but haven’t beaten the Wildcats at home since 2006.
Sunday’s kickoff is at 3:30pm.