Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Thursday, Feb. 22
The Indiana Daily Student


IU gears up for rival

Hoosiers travel to Lexington for annual 'Bourbon Barrel' game

The Bourbon Barrel doesn't exist anymore, but that doesn't mean the IU/Kentucky football game doesn't mean anything.\nTravel to parts of Southern Indiana or almost anywhere in Kentucky and the annual border war between the Hoosiers and Wildcats is a topic of conversation.\n"When you go down to Southern Indiana, Louisville, Owensboro, Evansville, that game is the number one thing that they talk about when I come down to the golf outings and speak," coach Cam Cameron said. "They are pointing towards the Kentucky game, but it is important to us all."\nIU (0-1) and Kentucky (1-1) play for the 31st time at 5 p.m., Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, but it won't be a trophy game. The Bourbon Barrel, given annually to the game's winner since 1987, was dismantled prior to the 1999 game.\nThe Bourbon Barrel was retired last September after Kentucky transfer player Arthur Steinmetz was killed in an alcohol-related car crash. Kentucky athletics director C.M. Newton presented the idea of retiring the Bourbon Barrel to IU and the schools reached a joint-decision to retire the trophy. When discussing the rivalry, IU players informally refer to the contest with Kentucky as the "barrel" game. \nUnlike IU's game with Purdue, which has been contested annually since 1920, the rivalry with Kentucky is still developing. The Hoosiers and Wildcats started meeting annually in 1987. IU leads the all-time series 16-13-1.\nAlthough not as fierce as the school's basketball rivalry, the intensity and competitiveness of the "barrel" game has increased in recent years. \n"Kentucky is a rival for us and they play us hard every year," senior fullback De'Wayne Hogan said. "They beat us the last two years and now it's our time."\nSince junior quarterback Antwaan Randle El's freshman season in 1998, the signal-callers have taken center stage and the past two meetings have been nail bitters. Randle El matched-up with Tim Couch in 1998, who went on to be the first pick of the 1999 NFL Draft. Kentucky quarterback Dusty Bonner and Randle El accounted for 505 yards combined passing yards last year. Randle El and Kentucky freshman Jared Lorenzen are expected to produce the same kind offensive fireworks Saturday.\nThe past two meetings between the team's were both decided in the fourth quarter. The Hoosiers trailed, 38-21 heading into the fourth quarter of last year's game. IU managed to trim the Wildcats' lead to six with three minutes remaining before losing, 44-35. Kentucky used a big fourth quarter from Couch to defeat IU, 31-27, in 1998.\nFourth-year Kentucky coach Hal Mumme is expecting the same type of game this season.\n"I imagine the game will be a who has it last kind of deal," Mumme said. "It's always been an exciting game and the only time since I've been here that it hasn't been a close game was before Randle El was here."\nCameron, who is also in his fourth season, agrees that Saturday's game has a possibility of being decided in the final minutes.\n"We are in a very similar situation to which you saw Saturday (against North Carolina State) where we had to make big plays at the end of the ball game in order to win the game," Cameron said. "I imagine that this ball game will go down to the fourth quarter, too"

Get stories like this in your inbox