Durham to Start VS. WKU; Wildcats Have Great Mental Practice

Sept. 8, 2010

Video update: Phillips says special-teams play must improve

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Head coach Joker Phillips announced that senior Brad Durham has earned the starting nod at offensive right tackle for Kentucky’s football game against Western Kentucky University on Saturday.

The first-year head coach says Durham will get the starting nod at right tackle over junior Billy Joe Murphy. Phillips said that Durham and Murphy rotated last week at right tackle vs.Louisville, although Murphy received the starting assignment against the Cardinals.

“He (Durham) and Billy Joe rotated last week anyway,” Phillips said. “All three of the tackles (including Chandler Burden) played about 42 plays, so they all three will play, but Brad Durham deserved to play. I thought that he played better than the other two.”

Overall, Phillips was very pleased with practice Wednesday, saying the team was focused and had very few blown assignments at practice. Phillips said that the Wildcats put most the game plan against the Hilltoppers in Tuesday, allowing UK to play faster and better Wednesday.

“Another good practice,” Phillips said. “There was a lot of energy and we were a lot better mentally on our assignments. We didn’t put a lot of things in today. We installed the game plan on Tuesday so we did just a couple minor things to tweak our game plan. I thought that our heads were in it and we had very little assignment screw ups.”

Phillips told reporters after practice that stopping the running game of WKU will be important. WKU running back Bobby Rainey played very well in the season opener, rushing for 155 yards and one touchdown against Nebraska.

“We don’t want to let him (Rainey) get started because he has the type of speed where he can go 80 (yards) on you,” Phillips said. “We just don’t want him to even get started.”

Kentucky will return to the practice field again Thursday to get in the final preparations for the WKU game. The Wildcats play host to the Hilltoppers on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EDT.