Stoops ready to make UK vs. UofL a national rivalry

06/03/2015 03:32 PM

FRANKFORT — The 2015 edition of Kentucky vs. Louisville on the gridiron is still 179 days away, but the rivalry talk kicked off early on Wednesday afternoon at the Governor’s Cup Classic.

Coaches from both sides of the divide were in attendance for the annual golf tournament at Frankfort Country Club — which raises proceeds to support the Dare to Care and God’s Pantry food banks — and talked about the continual growth of the rivalry.

Kentucky leads the overall series 14-13, but Louisville has dominated in recent years by winning the last four matchups, including a 44-40 thriller at Papa John’s Stadium last season.

Nevertheless, Mark Stoops likes the progress he’s seen in the Wildcats during his three-year tenure as head coach, and said the Governor’s Cup is on the verge of garnering national attention.

“We need to do our part at Kentucky,” said Stoops during Wednesday’s media session. “I think Louisville’s been a top program the past two, three years, and we need to bring ourselves up to that level to get it on a national scale.

“Certainly prior to coming here, I [was] blessed to play in some big rivalries throughout my career; Being at Florida State and playing at Florida was exciting, and certainly a national game, and that’s what we need to get this rivalry to.

“Part of that is Kentucky doing our job to bring it up to national prominence and play at a high level, and we’re working on it and feel good about where we’re at, but I think it’s a great rivalry. You certainly feel it. As with any rivalry game as coaches, you feel the importance of it.”

After previously being scheduled as the first game of each season, the UK vs. UofL matchup was moved to November’s Rivalry Week for the first time in 2014.

This year’s edition will also be the last game of the season, kicking off in Lexington on November 28th.


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