The outlook was good when Joey Gatewood scored a go-ahead touchdown for Louisville in the third quarter (Mike DeZarn photos).

The childish L’s down gestures used by University of Kentuckians would be laughable if not for the vitriol in the hearts and minds of UK fans and players. So predictable, so simple-minded.

To avoid the spectacle, respect thine opponent — the first rule when lining up against any opposing team.

Like many other UofL football fans, the Observer just couldn’t get too excited about playing Kentucky over the weekend. He suspects the fear factor for the opponent was almost missing among the UofL players.

Too much chatter about a possible playoff berth, if only a remote possibility. Fans and players patting themselves on their collective back for an astonishing 10-1 won-lost record coming into the game. Some looking ahead to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game against Florida State. A possible appearance in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day.

Far too many distractions — can’t blame them, what a great season — for a team going up against a rival that spews hate for everything University of Louisville. If ever there was a trap game, this was it. UK had a singular focus on beating Louisville, nothing else. UofL the one game that means the most to the Wildcats and their fans every season, no matter how bad or how good the Cardinals may be doing that year.

Take them for granted at your risk.

UofL won most of the important faces of the game, except for the final score of 38-31. The Cardinals out-rushed the Widlcats 184 to 117 yards, won the passing game 242 to 206 yards through the air, and had 23 first downs to 16 for the visitors. Louisville possessed the ball for 36 minutes, 32 seconds, Kentucky for only 23 minutes, 23 seconds.

Louisville’s defense disappeared in the second half, counting on the offense to stay in the game. That never works, allowing the Wildcats to score 31 points in the second half.

Two fumbles at crucial times for the UofL offense proved to be fatal. By their two leading offensive players, Jack Plummer and Jawhar Jordan, at times when they needed the ball the most. The carelessness played right into Kentucky’s hands. Gifts they could not turn down, and they used them to punish their hated rivals.

Take your opponent too lightly, any opponent, and you deserve what you get. Embarrassing to miss a sure win in front of 59,225 fans, the largest crowd in stadium history.


Louie leads the Cardinals onto the field in front of a record crowd of 59,225 fans (Mike DeZarn photo).
Rap artist Jack Harlow is embraced by the UofL cheerleaders in the south end zone (Mike DeZarn photo).



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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

2 thoughts on “UK football salvages season with UofL upset”
  1. Mr. Springer, just accept the loss. Don’t try to degrade Kentucky and act as if U of L is somehow superior. Don’t forget what happened under Pitino and their redacted championship. Maybe you also have a fetish for strippers. 🙂

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