Louisville Football: Inside the numbers of the Kentucky Wildcats

We take a look at Louisville Football’s next game against the Kentucky Wildcats and where they rank among teams in the SEC.

The Louisville football team will need to gather themselves quickly, as their rival Kentucky will be looking to add their seventh win of the season. UK has become bowl-eligible after beating Austin Peay last weekend, but beating the Cardinals would be the highlight of their 2016 season.

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Naturally, Cardinals fans hear a lot about the Wildcat football team, since every UK fan loves to talk about beating Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina. However, beating Louisville and Lamar Jackson is a test they haven’t passed in many years.

With that being said, let’s take a look inside the numbers of the 2016 Kentucky Football team.

Oct 8, 2016; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats running back Stanley Boom Williams (18) runs the ball against the Vanderbilt Commodores in the first half at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Wildcats’ Offense:

The Wildcats have become bowl-eligible for the first time in a long while after killing Austin Peay last weekend. For the most part, Kentucky can run the ball on anyone, but their passing game still remains awful. Whether it’s receivers dropping the ball or Stephen Johnson not making accurate throws, they tend to lean on their two running backs.

Here is where the Cats rank among the other team in the Southeastern Conference:

9th in the SEC in Total Offense

3rd in the SEC in Rushing Offense

14th in the SEC in Passing Offense

Again, Kentucky is not going to beat Louisville by passing the football. They will lean heavily on Boom Williams and Benny Snell to carry their offense next Saturday afternoon.

If the Cardinals’ front seven can stay disciplined and tackle well, Louisville should be able to shut down Kentucky’s two phenomenal running backs.

Both Snell and Williams have over 1,000 yards rushing and both rank in the top six rushers of the Southeastern Conference.

Nov 5, 2016; Lexington, KY, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Nick Chubb (27) runs the ball against Kentucky Wildcats defensive tackle Courtney Miggins (94) in the first half at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Wildcats’ Defense:

If the Wildcats have a weakness, it’s definitely with their rushing defense. They give up way too many yards on the ground and struggle enormously with mobile quarterbacks. If you remember, they couldn’t even touch Lamar Jackson in the game in Lexington last season. I expect more of the same result, as Jackson has improved greatly since last November.

Here is where the Cats rank among the other Southeastern Conference teams in defense:

9th in the SEC in Total Defense

11th in the SEC in Rushing Defense

6th in the SEC in Passing Defense

13th in the SEC in Sacks

Don’t let the passing defense statistic fool you. Kentucky is 6th in passing yards allowed per game because teams just run all over them. They are at the bottom of the conference in stopping the run, which should give the Cardinals’ offensive line a break after playing two great front sevens in a row.

Oct 29, 2016; Columbia, MO, USA; Kentucky Wildcats running back Benjamin Snell Jr. (26) is congratulated by tight end Greg Hart (85) after scoring a touchdown during the first half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Wildcats’ Turnover Margin:

Well, it looks like Kentucky and Louisville finally have something in common after all. They both turn the football over like crazy and leave their defenses to pick up the mess. It’s pretty simple, whoever wins the turnover battle on Saturday will, more than likely, win the Governors’ Cup.

Here is where UK ranks among the other teams in the Southeastern Conference in Turnovers:

14th in the SEC in Turnover Margin per Game

14th in the SEC in Turnovers Lost

14th in the SEC in Fumbles Lost

12th in the SEC in Interceptions Lost

This cannot be stressed enough: Louisville has to take care of the football on Saturday. Whether that means carrying a football to class all week or putting extra glue on their gloves (only sort of kidding), they need figure it out and figure it out fast.

There wouldn’t be anything more embarrassing for Louisville’s Seniors than to lose to UK in their last home game as a Cardinal.

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