Phillips Pleased with Cats Energy in Cold Weather

Nov. 2, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. - First-year University of Kentucky football head coach Joker Phillips was pleased with his team's energy level and effort during a cold day at the Nutter Training Facility practice fields Tuesday.

Phillips said although it was cold outside, he and the UK coaching staff will not allow this team to use that as an excuse to not practice hard.

"The energy was good," Phillips said. "We won't allow them to use cold as an excuse. Coach (Mike) Summers came out here in shorts, so if it isn't cold to him it isn't cold to them. Plus, we are telling them that in July what did they do? They cranked up the AC (air conditioning) so it would feel like this. This is the way it feels in July in their rooms."

Phillips was asked about the team's spirits after losing five of their last six games. The head coach answered by pointing at the players signing autographs for a visiting little league team and the laughter and fun the players were having.

"We have been through a grueling six-game stretch," Phillips said, "but you can't tell it by the effort they gave us today and now how much fun they had today at practice."

On the injury front, senior tailback Derrick Locke has been cleared by team doctors to play Saturday and did practice Tuesday. Phillips said that Locke went "a little bit," but that there was still a problem with his fatigue, although there is not any pain.

"Derrick Locke practiced today a little bit," Phillips said, "but again he has a little fatigue and we will just continue to see. He doesn't have pain, he just gets fatigued as he goes through practice. Early in practice, he feels that he can grip the ball well and then later on in practice he doesn't have the same type of grip on the ball."

Kentucky will return to the practice field Wednesday.

Saturday is National College Football Day: Nearly 100 spectators gathered around a field in New Brunswick, N.J., on Nov. 6, 1869 to witness a game unlike anything seen before. On that day, Rutgers defeated Princeton, 6-4, but more importantly, the players left a lasting legacy that would evolve into the great spectacle of intercollegiate football. To honor the birth of an American institution, the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic created a holiday to be held annually on the first Saturday in November.

In 2006, the holiday took on added significance when the Classic teamed up with the V Foundation for Cancer Research to raise funds and increase awareness in the fight against cancer. This year, the American Football Coaches Association, the National Association of Collegiate Football Officials, the Football Writers Association of America, the College Sports Information Directors of America and the Athletic Equipment Managers Association have given their support to this great cause.

Celebrate the seventh-annual National College Football Day on Nov. 6 and consider making a donation to the V Foundation. For more information, visit