Wildcats Have Final Full Practice

Jan. 6, 2011

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Kentucky football team had its final full practice of the season with a one-hour, 20-minute workout at Hoover High School. The Wildcats concentrated on special teams assignments and the two-minute drill.

"We got done what we came out here to get done, make sure we hone up on our assignments and focus in on what we have to do Saturday to win this football game," Coach Joker Phillips said.

Phillips was asked about the progress of sophomore quarterback Morgan Newton, who will make his first start of the season in place of suspended senior QB Mike Hartline.

"He's (Newton) gotten better every day. Down here he's looked really, really well. The ball's coming out of his hands well. He has command of it. He's understanding the assignments and understanding how to make adjustments with the receivers, also. Having been with those guys (first-team receivers) only a month, now he's starting to get where he's comfortable with the 'one' receivers. He hasn't played in a long time, so I definitely expect jitters. We haven't played in a long time, I'll probably have jitters, too," Phillips said with a laugh.

"It's not even close (how much Newton has improved over this time a year ago)," Phillips said. "We were so limited in some of the things we had to do last year. Remember, he didn't play until the sixth game of the year, so he didn't get a lot of reps, therefore when he started in that sixth game, everything we did from then on was new to him. A lot of things we were limited in what we could do. We feel a lot more comfortable what we're doing now and him being able to do it. We're going to cut it loose, give him everything that we have in our playbook."

The Wildcats will have a walk-through on Friday. The BBVA Compass Bowl against the Pittsburgh Panthers is set for noon EST (11 a.m. CST) at Legion Field.

Bowl Activities Continue: The Kentucky and Pittsburgh teams had their first joint activity Wednesday night with a "Bowling and Barbeque" event at the Vestavia Bowling Lanes. On Thursday night, both teams will attend a dinner and enjoy a comedian at the Stardome Comedy Club. Friday's activities will feature a morning visit to patients at the Birmingham Children's Hospital, the official bowl kickoff luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel, a walk-through and news conference in the afternoon and a pep rally in the late afternoon.

Weather Report for Saturday: Saturday's Birmingham forecast according to weather.com calls for sunny skies and a high of 48 degrees in Birmingham on Saturday.

"Cat Walk" Set for 8:45 a.m. Central time: Fans wishing to participate in the "Cat Walk," cheering the Wildcats when they enter the stadium at the BBVA Compass Bowl, should be at Gates 16 and 17 of Legion Field at 8:45 a.m. Central time.