Week 14, Rivalry Week SEC Football Picks Against the Spread

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Nov 15, 2014; Knoxville, TN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops during the first half against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats at #22 Louisville Cardinals (-12.5), Saturday, November 29, 11AM CT, ESPN2

It’s the last chance for the Kentucky Wildcats. After beginning the season with a surprising 5-1 start, the Cats have lost five in a row, each worse than the one before it.

Now, they’ve got their backs completely against the wall with one final shot to make a surprising bowl game in Mark Stoops’ second season in Lexington.

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“We’re playing our rival on the road for an opportunity to go to a bowl game. So it is what is,” Stoops said. “We’ll prepare and be excited to go play, but there’s no reason to play tight and I don’t anticipate that. I’d like to see us play with that great passion that we did for most of the season.”

Despite a five game losing streak, Stoops feels the pressure is on the opponent, and not his squad. A little extra motivation knowing it’s now or never for a post-season berth should help as well.

The only thing that stands in their way now is a new/old nemesis: Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals. Petrino is in the first season of his second tour with the Cardinals, and has them 8-3 heading into Saturday’s rivalry matchup, which is newly scheduled for the end of the season. He’ll start a backup quarterback, but also possesses a top ten defense.

The game will be in Louisville, which is no small matter because the Wildcats haven’t won a game on the road all season. They probably won’t win Saturday, either, but they should make it close.

Louisville 31, Kentucky 20 

Next: Florida at Florida State