The last time these two teams met, Scott Satterfield was in his first year as Louisville's coach, and Kentucky's quarterback was a wide receiver named Lynn Bowden. Much has changed since then, and — after missing last year's annual battle due to the pandemic — the UK Wildcats and U of L Cardinals will play once again.
U of L (6-5) is a 2.5-point favorite over UK (8-3); the Wildcats are seeking to win nine games for the second time in more than three decades, while the Cardinals are hoping to finish the regular season 7-5 and win the rivalry matchup for the first time since 2017.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Updates on the game can be found below.
10:59 p.m. - Louisville adds final touchdown
Louisville scored a touchdown with eight seconds left; UK now leads 52-21 and will win its third-straight in the rivalry, each by large margins.
10:50 p.m. - Kentucky punts for first time, then adds touchdown
UK punted for the first time with 6:38 left in the game and then, after a Louisville turnover on downs, scored a touchdown. Backup quarterback Beau Allen first scrambled for 22 yards and then La'Vell Wright rushed for a 41-yard touchdown to make the score 52-14 late in the fourth.
10:34 p.m. - Louisville scores fourth-quarter touchdown
After Malik Cunningham was helped to the locker room following a scramble, backup Evan Conley came in and threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Josh Johnson.
UK now leads U of L 45-14 with 8:49 left in the game.
10:15 p.m. Will Levis hurdles Louisville defender
It's been quite the for Will Levis, and he added another great scramble in the fourth quarter, racking up 22 yards on the ground and one hurdled defender along the way.
Kavosiey Smoke then added a 13-yard touchdown run, the Wildcats' sixth score on the ground of the day, and UK leads U of L 45-7 with 13:33 left in the game.
Goodness gracious, Will Levis. It's his night tonight. pic.twitter.com/Xk18H9lts3
— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) November 28, 2021
10:02 p.m. - Kentucky opens up huge lead over Louisville
After J.J. Weaver's interception, the Wildcats marched 59 yards to score a touchdown on a 2-yard Chris Rodriguez touchdown with 3:18 left in the third quarter.
The Wildcats and Cardinals have not played a close game since 2016, and many anticipated that this year's contest would finally be a competitive game. Through almost three full quarters, that has not proven to be true; UK leads U of L 38-7.
9:51 p.m. - J.J. Weaver intercepts Malik Cunningham pass
UK's J.J. Weaver, a Moore High alum, intercepted a Malik Cunningham pass midway through the third quarter.
9:46 p.m. - Josh Paschal limps off the field
UK's Josh Paschal, who had a sack in the first half, appeared to be injured after a second-half play. He was helped off the field.
Wildcat tight end Izayah Cummings also appeared injured on a previous play. Linebackers Jacquez Jones and DeAndre Square, who left the game in the first half, returned to the game shortly afterwards.
Paschal limps of the field with one arm around a trainer and one around Mark Stoops. https://t.co/QUiJAu2IWe
— Jon Hale (@JonHale_CJ) November 28, 2021
9:42 p.m. - Will Levis ties school record with four rushing touchdowns
Louisville received the second half kickoff and converted one first down before Malik Cunningham threw a couple of incompletions and U of L was forced to punt.
Kentucky then picked up where it left off, with Chris Rodriguez rushing for a 41-yard gain to enter the red zone. UK quarterback Will Levis — once again — scored on a rushing touchdown, a one-yard gain, to tie a program record with four rushing touchdowns in a single game.
UK leads U of L 31-7 with 9:28 left in the third quarter.
9:15 p.m. - Kentucky takes 24-7 lead into halftime
UK was a slight underdog in this game, but it's been a strong effort by the Wildcats in the first half at Cardinal Stadium. They've outgained the Cardinals by over 100 yards and quarterback Will Levis, particularly his legs, have proved to be difficult for U of L to stop.
U of L will receive the second half kickoff.
9:08 p.m. - Cardinals miss field goal
U of L sought to chip into UK's lead before halftime and tried a 49-yard field goal, but James Turner's kick was no good. The Cardinals still trail the Wildcats, 24-7 late in the second half.
9:03 p.m. - Malik Cunningham leaves game with apparent injury, but returns
Louisville standout quarterback Malik Cunningham appeared to injure his hand on a throw and left the game. Backup Evan Conley came in and ran for 20 yards before Cunningham returned to action, rushing for eight yards himself.
Malik Cunningham is hurt. Holding his hand. Think he hit it on somebody’s helmet during the throw.
— Cameron Teague (@cj_teague) November 28, 2021
8:58 p.m. - Will Levis and Kentucky score again
Kentucky's offense has proved hard to stop. The Wildcats have yet to punt, with each of their four drives resulting in points; they're averaging almost 7 yards per play.
Will Levis, the team's quarterback, rushed for his third first-half touchdown to give UK a 24-7 lead with 1:53 left in the second quarter. He's passed for 101 yards and rushed for 79.
8:51 p.m. - Wan'Dale Robinson sets single-season reception record
UK wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson notched his sixth catch of the game in the second quarter, which broke the Wildcats' record for the most catches in a season. The record was previously held by tight end James Whalen, who caught 90 passes in 1999.
8:37 p.m. - A Kentucky field goal gives Wildcats 17-7 lead
Louisville went for it on 4th-and-5, but Malik Cunningham over-threw Justin Marshall, turning the ball over on downs. The Wildcats capitalized by driving, converting one 4th-and-2, and then adding a 43-yard field goal from Matt Ruffolo. UK leads the Cardinals 17-7 with 8:46 left.
8:18 p.m. - Louisville and Kentucky get in shoving match
After Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham was pushed out of bounds by Vito Tisdale, the two teams got in a shoving match near the UK sideline. The teams were separated by referees.
UK's Quandre Mosely was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the play, but no players were ejected; UK leads U of L 14-7 after the first quarter.
It's getting a little bit chippy. pic.twitter.com/HsM1OZx5eX
— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) November 28, 2021
8:11 p.m. - Will Levis scores again
Kentucky quarterback Will Levis, who changed his Twitter name this week to turn all of the "Ls" in his name upside down, scored once again for UK to give the Wildcats a 14-7 lead over Louisville with 1:18 left in the first quarter.
8:10 p.m. - Jack Harlow is at Louisville's Cardinal Stadium
Louisville native and rapper Jack Harlow, a prominent supporter of U of L athletics, is on the sidelines for the Governor's Cup. Harlow, who will play five shows in Louisville next month, was seen on the sideline.
8:00 p.m. - Louisville's Malik Cunningham leaps for score
Hope you like offense. After UK opened the game with a quick, long scoring drive, U of L responded with an equally quick and long drive. Malik Cunningham completed four passes on the drive before rushing and leaping into the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown keeper.
Like UK's drive, it was 75 yards and punctuated by a quarterback rushing score. The Governor's Cup is tied 7-7 with 7:30 remaining in the first quarter.
UK linebackers Jacques Jones and DeAndre Square both appeared to be injured on the drive.
7:46 p.m. - Kentucky scores touchdown on opening drive
The Wildcats wasted no time, marching 75 yards in under three minutes to score a touchdown on a 29-yard Will Levis run. The drive was started with a 27-yard completion from Levis to Wan'Dale Robinson.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) November 28, 2021
7:28 p.m. - Senior Night for the Cardinals
After the national anthem, Louisville's seniors were announced individually and applauded as they ran onto the field. Next up: kickoff.
4:30 p.m. - U of L, UK fans tailgate ahead of the game
Ahead of a game expected to see strong attendance, UK fan Steven Husband and Louisville fan Matthew Cavanaugh played cornhole, dressed in their respective team's attire.
"We'll probably be fighting later on," Cavanaugh said.
The game hasn't been close in recent years
UK leads the overall series against U of L 17-15, while the Cardinals have won 12 games since 2000, with the Wildcats winning 8.
However, the two squads haven't played a close game since UK won by three points in 2016; the last three matchups were decided by at least 27 points, with the Wildcats easily taking the last two and Louisville dominating in 2017.
Could game change narrative in recruiting battles?
LEXINGTON – Frankfort native Wan’Dale Robinson grew up playing youth football in and around Louisville. As a four-star high school prospect, he spent lots of time in the city working with prominent trainer Chris Vaughn at Aspirations Fitness Institution.
The University of Louisville was never a serious option for Robinson though, either as a high school recruit or when he entered the transfer portal last winter.
“It goes to show how they recruit,” said Robinson, who could break Kentucky’s single-season receptions record in his first Governor’s Cup rivalry game this week. “I can say for me, they didn’t recruit me at all. That just kind of goes to show they really don’t take pride in keeping everybody in state.
“So, for all those recruits that see this, you know where to come.”
- Jon Hale, UK football beat writer
For Belfry, Governor's Cup is a source of pride
BELFRY, Ky. — Forget about a house divided. Belfry, Ky. will be a town united when Kentucky and Louisville football kick off the Governor’s Cup.
But the small town in the easternmost part of the commonwealth won’t be wholeheartedly supporting either the Wildcats or the Cardinals; instead, they’ll be watching and applauding two former Belfry High School standouts: U of L center Cole Bentley and UK guard Austin Dotson.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky vs. Louisville football: Governor's Cup score, live updates