7:30 PM ET, September 15, 2007
Commonwealth Stadium, LEXINGTON, KY
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson pretends he is confused when asked how many victories he has amassed against Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm.
"Basketball or football?" Woodson says with a grin.
Basketball may rule the Bluegrass state, but Woodson would gladly surrender his entire undefeated prep record against Brohm on the hardwood for just one dent in Brohm's perfect career record against him on the gridiron.
Woodson will get one last chance Saturday when Kentucky (2-0) hosts No. 9 Louisville (2-0).
"You're going to see two of the best quarterbacks in the nation and probably two future NFL quarterbacks that are homegrown," Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said. "It's a very significant event when you can have two quarterbacks who, in high school, were only about 35 miles apart."
Both were multi-sport athletes since childhood, but their powerful arms put them on a path to be quarterbacks -- and rivals. Brohm always had the edge.
While Woodson played at a good football program, North Hardin High in Radcliff, Brohm attended a great one -- Louisville's Trinity High School.
Not surprisingly, Brohm was more hotly recruited. Woodson scraped his way onto a probation-riddled Kentucky team where he redshirted his first year, served as a backup his second and struggled his third.
During drills before last season, Woodson briefly slipped to second on the depth chart behind speedster Curtis Pulley. That lit a fire under him.
"I knew that I could lose this position," Woodson said. "That's something I didn't want to go through."
Practically out of nowhere, Woodson cut a full second off his delivery time and threw for 31 touchdowns as a junior, leading the Wildcats to victory over Clemson in the Music City Bowl. Almost overnight, what had been Kentucky's biggest perceived weakness -- the passing game -- turned into its strength.
As expected, Brohm is generating as much Heisman Trophy hype as anyone, and with nine TDs through two games, he's done little to change that. But its been suggested that Woodson is a better NFL prospect.
The Wildcats' signal caller has thrown 213 straight passes without an interception -- already a school record. He certainly has the respect of his rival.
"His tools are something that stand out," Brohm said. "He's a big guy. He's athletic. He's got a strong arm, and it seems like in the last year or so, he's put it together."
The Cardinals may be the ones more likely to seal a return trip to a Bowl Championship Series game, but after four straight losses to its archrival, Kentucky could be closing the gap.
Two years ago, the last time the teams faced off in Lexington, Woodson let Kentucky's shot at an upset slip through his fingers. Down by a touchdown in the fourth quarter, Woodson fumbled at the 2. The Cardinals went on to win 31-24.
"I think any time you have two teams in a state like this that's dominated by college athletics, it makes for a great story line and a great rivalry," Louisville's first-year coach Steve Kragthorpe said.
Through two games, neither team has played much defense, but both have scored in bunches. They've combined for 237 points and the 50 Kentucky put up in the opener against Eastern Kentucky is the lowest single game total for either team.
"People want to see UK beat UofL," Woodson said. "They don't want to see Andre beat Brohm. I'm not going to try to put up big numbers. I'm going to do whatever the coach asks me to do. If that's hand the ball off 40 times in a game, that's what I'm going to do."
Top 25 Overview
It's a battle of arguably the top two senior quarterbacks in the nation when Brian Brohm and Louisville visits rival Kentucky and Andre' Woodson. The Cardinals have won the last four against the Wildcats, who haven't defeated a top 10 team since 1977.
Kentucky and Louisville feature explosive offenses that will be tough to stop so homefield advantage may come into play.
|Avg Points Allowed||30.7||21.3|