Wildcats Wrap Up On-Field Work

Sept. 3, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky football team completed on-field preparations for Saturday's season opener with a one-hour, 45-minute practice Thursday morning on the Tim Couch Practice Fields.

Following the workout, Coach Rich Brooks fielded questions about his expectations for the team's performance.

“We'll see how I feel about it after the game on Saturday,” Brooks said. “I just need to see them against somebody else. … I think I'm nervous about everything right now. It's just that time of year.”

Brooks announced that sophomore Chandler Burden would make his first collegiate start at defensive end. Burden has been battling redshirt freshman Collins Ukwu for the starting nod. Both players are expected to see extensive action, as Ukwu also has been training to back up DeQuin Evans at the other end slot.

Another question this week has been the availability of fullback John Conner (sprained ankle) and linebacker Micah Johnson (sprained foot) for the Miami contest. Both had some participation in practice on Thursday, with Brooks terming Johnson “between questionable and probable” and Conner “questionable” to play in the game.

Kentucky fans are quite familiar with the contributions of Johnson, who made 93 tackles and was a first-team Coaches All-Southeastern Conference selection last season. But Conner, named the “best blocking back in the SEC” by the Birmingham News, is a major contributor as well.

“He's a starting fullback and not only that, he's on several special teams that he's been on for four years,” Brooks said. “The guy has great experience and will bring a lot to the table for us.”

The Wildcats take on the RedHawks Saturday at noon at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.

Cat Walk Back in Business for Saturday: A rearrangement of arrival logistics at Paul Brown Stadium will enable the fans and team to have the “Cat Walk” on Saturday morning.

Fans wishing to cheer the Wildcats upon their arrival should line up along Central Avenue on the west side of the stadium by 9:45 a.m. The team will unload at the bus cutouts on the avenue.

Note to Fans, Media – Arrive Early: Because of the traffic congestion expected around Paul Brown Stadium, fans and media and advised to arrive early for Saturday's noon kickoff vs. Miami.

Parking lots open Saturday at 8 a.m. and stadium gates open at 10 a.m.

Tickets Available: Tickets are available for the opener vs. Miami in Paul Brown Stadium. UK is sold out in lower- and club-level seats but has upper-deck seating available at a cost of $35 each.

Fans interested in lower-level seating may contact the Miami ticket office at 1-866-MUHAWKS. (Ask for section 152 if you want to sit next to Kentucky fans.) Those tickets are $45 each.

Tickets will be available on game day. All seats in Paul Brown Stadium are chairbacks.

Sweetland Coached for Kentucky, Miami: An interesting historical note to this game is that Edwin Regur Sweetland was the head coach at UK in 1909-10 and 1912, sandwiched around the 1911 season in which he coached Miami.

Sweetland posted season records of 9-1, 7-2 and 7-2 while guiding the Wildcats. Miami went 2-4-2 in 1911 with Sweetland at the helm. The teams played each other twice during those years; ironically, Sweetland lost on both occasions. Kentucky won 12-0 in 1911 and Miami won 13-8 in 1912. (Thanks to UK fan Harry Smith for reminding us of this note.)