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By LARRY VAUGHT
Former UK All-American receiver Derek Abney says it was not hard for him to know the importance of the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry immediately.
“You knew it from the start. You were immersed in the fact it was more than just an in-state rivarly. Fans made sure you knew, but the upperclassmen also made sure you knew it was a game you had to win,” Abney said. “I played in the very first one, but even as a freshman playing in the first UK-Louisville game (when the series resumed) I knew how big it was.”
Abney knows the game opens the season for both teams today, but he prefers to have the game the third week of the season like it is when UK hosts the rivalry.
“I think if both teams were honest, they would both say they would rather it be the third game,” Abney said. “Then you can put your best foot forward. It’s exciting to have it the first game, but that really favors the veteran team. Of course, having it the first game is a great chance for the underdog to set the tone for the rest of the season by winning like Kentucky could do this time by knocking off a top 25 team. Actually, most players like being the underdog and having a chance to prove the naysayers wrong.”