By Paul Sykes
Could even be an aerial circus.
With young, largely inexperienced secondaries on both sides of the ball, the wide receivers are likely to play a pivotal role in the outcome when Louisville and Kentucky line up for the opening football game for both teams.
Louisville — Will sorely miss Scott Long and Trent Guy as wide receivers. Senior Doug Beaumont, however, is a talented receiver, ready to end his long scoring drought. Just needs to break the ice. He was second in receptions last season with 38 grabs for 465 yards. Troy Pascley, another senior, has shown flashes and may be ready to add consistency. After scoring four touchdowns in 2008, he was hampered by injuries and failed to see the end zone in 2009.
If the Cards go to three receivers, Nevada transfer Andrell Smith could see significant action. Cameron Graham looks to have the nod at tight end along with 6-foot-9 Josh Chichester, creating an interesting scenario for opposing linebackers. Scott Radcliff, Jaques Caldwell and Josh Bellamy have also impressed in fall drills.
Kentucky — Randall Cobb is the quickest and best on the field. He will also see action at quarterback and kick returner as well. Coach Joker Phillips will not hesitate to play Cobb everywhere on the field but the marching band.
Chris Matthews, a 6-foot-5 receiver, hauled down some nice catches last season and has the quickness to make big plays. In a three receiver set, UK may also include Gene McCaskill, La’Rod King or Matt Roark. Nick Melillo from Louisville is the front runner at tight end but getting strong competition from Anthony Kendrick and Jordan Aumiller.
Advantage — Kentucky. Cobb has Sunday afternoon potential and Matthews is also a constant threat.