Louisville, Ky – November 25, 2023 – Matthew Hudson
One of the best times of the year for College Football is always Rivalry Week. We get to root on our favorite teams against our most hated rivals. No matter what the records are or who is favored in these games we all know anyone can win. Kentucky has had the Cardinals number the last few years as they have won 5 of the last 6 contests. Louisville comes in with a 10-1 record, their best record in 10 years against the 6-5 Kentucky Wildcats.
L&N stadium set a new attendance record for this game as they saw 59,225 people pack in to watch this rivalry. This game was chippy from the get-go. Several incidents prior to the game and a Personal Foul on the opening kick-off seemed to set the tone for the rest of the game. Both teams had trouble moving the ball much in the 1st Half as the combined for only 17. They more than made up for it in the 2nd half however. The Wildcats outscored the Cardinals 31-21 in the 2nd half and were able to comeback from a 10-point deficit and take the lead with just 1 minute left in the game.
Jack Plummer and Devin Leary both had good games for their respective clubs. Plummer finished the day 24-33 with 242 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. Leary finished the day 12-22 with 206 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT.
Both running backs played well today but no one had an outstanding game according to their standards. Jawhar Jordan finished the day with 67 yards and 2 TDs on 17 carries. Ray Davis was held in check for most of the day but showed up when it mattered the most. His only rushing TD of the game came with 1 minute left on the clock and turned out to be the game winning TD. He finished with 76 yards and 1 TD on 14 carries.
Defense was the name of the game in the 1st half but as both offenses made adjustments it became much harder for either side to get a stop. The leading tackler for the Cards was Ben Perry from the Safety position with 9 tackles. UK was led by Trevin Wallace and D’Eryk Jackson both with 11.
Louisville got this one started. After a good stop by the Louisville Defense the Cardinals went 14 plays and 70 yards to take the early 7-0 lead over Kentucky. Jawhar Jordan punched it in from the 1-yard line. Louisville up 7-0.
Kentucky answers back behind the arm of Devin Leary. Leary completed 4-5 passes for 42 yards on the drive the last being the 9-yard TD pass to Dane Key. Kentucky ties it up 7-7 with 5 mins remaining in the 2nd. Tied up 7-7.
The Cardinals Offense drives deep into Wildcat territory but stalls out after a Personal Foul backs them up. Louisville is still able to get back on top after a 46-yard FG by Brock Travelstead. Louisville up 10-7 with 4:25 left in the 2nd Quarter.
Louisville opened the 2nd half with a long 15 play 75-yard drive that took over 9 minutes off the clock. The Wildcats had a good goal line stand and it looked like they had held Louisville to a FG but the Cards went for it on 4th down and Jawhar Jordan was able to get in for his 2nd TD run of the game. Louisville extends its lead to 17-7 with 5:50 left in the 3rd.
The Wildcats strike back quickly. Barion Brown with a 100-yard Kick-off Return TD. Kentucky back within 3 with 5:38 left in the 3rd. Louisville up 17-14
Louisville countered Kentucky quick drive with one of their own, 2 minute and 41 seconds later the Cards capped off a 51-yard drive with the 11-yard reception by Joey Gatewood. Louisville back out in front by 10. Louisville up 24-14.
The 2nd half couldn’t be any more different than the 1st at this point. There were only 17 total points scored between both teams in the 1st half but 28 points scored in the last 6 minutes of the 3rd quarter. Kentucky goes 75-yards in just 2 plays to score in less than 1 minute of game time. Devin Leary connected with Ray Davis for a 7-yard TD pass. Kentucky cuts the lead to 21-24 in favor of Louisville.
Things finally slowed down for a few minutes. Louisville fumbled the ball and Kentucky capitalized by driving the ball deep into Cards territory before Alex Raynor connected on a 46-yard FG to tie the game up at 24.
Another turnover by the Cardinals leaves Kentucky with their best starting field position of the game at the Louisville 22. It takes Kentucky just 2 plays to get their first lead of the game. Leary connected with Davis for a 2-yard TD. Kentucky out in front 31-24.
The Louisville Defense comes up big as they pick off a Devin Leary Pass and return it to the Kentucky 39. The Cardinal Offense delivers as they tie it up on a 21-yard TD from Plummer to Huggins-Bruce. Tied up at 31-31 with only 2:40 left in the 4th.
The Wildcats were able to cap this one off with a 4 play 75-yard drive that only took 1:31 to take the lead 38-31 and seal the victory. A rather slow day for Ray Davis will not be remembered as he comes up big when it counted with a 37-yard TD run. Kentucky wins 38-31 over Louisville.
The next game for the Louisville Cardinals will be against the Florida State Seminoles for the ACC Championship on December 12 at 8 PM in Charlotte.