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First Down Kentucky: Optimism, and a Very Important Reminder

Nick Roushby:Nick Roush06/13/24


It’s the middle of June, a busy time for Kentucky football recruiting and an important time to remind the entire Commonwealth of a very important fact.

It has been 2,392 days since Louisville defeated Kentucky in the Governor’s Cup. Kentucky has won five straight games by an average score of 43.4-17.6. It’s also important to note that since Lamar Jackson put the team on his back in 2017, the basketball team has only one win in six tries, which is actually great for their standards, winning just three basketball rivalry games since 2010.

Kentucky isn’t just finding lightning in a bottle when they play the Cards at Kroger Field. Louisville was the favorite in four of the last six losses to Kentucky and they have now gone more than a decade without a rivalry win at home.

Mark Stoops is not without fault, but it’s worth reminding everyone that he’s done one thing incredibly well — kick Louisville’s ass. Stoops has six Governor’s Cup victories, 3x more than any other Kentucky head coach.

It’s always good to provide an annual refresher that reminds everyone who owns this state. Speaking of Louisville and Kentucky…

Sowells Cancels Louisville Visit

A few days after returning from an official visit at Kentucky to his hometown of Louisville, Isaac “Spike” Sowells is cutting the Cards. The talented center for Male High School shared he will not be officially visiting Louisville this weekend. He still has a couple of OVs on the docket for Miami and NC State before he announces his final decision.

The Cards’ courtship of Sowells was odd. This is a trench player at a primary feeder school, located just a few miles from Don’t-Call-Me-Papa-John’s. You’d think they’d go all in, right? Jeff Brohm made an in-person visit on the first day of the active recruiting period, but aside from that, there have been very few visible signs that Louisville was actively trying to make this decision difficult for Sowells. Now that it’s nearing closing time, he appears to be eliminating them from the picture. It’s a shame, a real shame.

Optimism Around a Kentucky Injury

This morning I reported that Josaih Hayes is expected to miss the entire 2024 Kentucky football season after suffering an Achilles injury in spring practice.

Stoops revealed this spring that 8-9 defensive players were out with injuries and one of those was serious. Process of elimination led us to suspect that Hayes was the big loss. About two months later, KSR was finally able to confirm he suffered a serious injury.

However, shortly after sharing that report, we got word that people around the facility are optimistic about Hayes’ future. His teammate, De’Eryk Jackson, suffered a similar injury during spring practice in 2021 and seven months later was able to return for the final two regular season games. A return this fall would not be unprecedented and Kentucky was willing enough to share photos of Hayes in the weight room this summer.

The most sage wisdom I ever received from my mother was, “Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.” We all hope to see Hayes this fall, but Kentucky should be planning on playing football without No. 97 on the field.

Will Levis Mic’d Up at Minicamp

Aaron Rodgers made headlines for skipping practice with the New York Jets. Will Levis did that by wearing a microphone during practice. The former Kentucky Wildcat brings the juice.

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