For the remainder of the week, TheCardinalConnect.com will compare each position for Louisville and Kentucky and determine which has the advantage.
First up is the offensive line. Louisville’s biggest weakness for the majority of last season was their offensive line, but a lot of that had to do with youth and injuries. Kentucky’s offensive line was thought to be their strength in 2011, but it ended up being one of the bigger weakness’ for the Wildcats. Louisville’s defensive line overwhelmed the Kentucky offensive line in last year’s meeting, recording six sacks and 14 tackles for a loss.
Starting offensive line for Louisville and Kentucky
Kentucky guard Larry Warford may be the best overall offensive lineman between the two schools, but Louisville’s experience is the difference maker. Cardinal senior center Mario Benavides is considered to be one of the top centers in the country and is finally 100% healthy for the first time in a while. Louisville senior tackle Alex Kupper had a solid fall camp and returns some valuable experience. The three other linemen for the Cardinals are true sophomores, but all three started multiple games last season.
Kentucky junior Kevin Mitchell has some experience, but is making a switch from left guard to right tackle. Darrian Miller and Zach West are unproven and inexperienced. I’m not saying they won’t fit nicely for Kentucky, but once again, Louisville’s proven experience should give them the advantage.