Ranks Thinned at UK Practice

Nov. 3, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Illness and injury significantly thinned the ranks of the Kentucky football team during Tuesday morning's practice at the Nutter Training Center, Coach Rich Brooks has reported.

After avoiding the malady for most of the season, the flu bug has finally bitten hard. Linebacker Micah Johnson, offensive guard Christian Johnson, tailback Alfonso Smith, defensive end Patrick Ligon, offensive tackle Dave Ulinski, linebacker Jacob Dufrene and linebacker Ridge Wilson all missed practice because of illness.

In addition, tailback Derrick Locke (both knees), wide receiver Gene McCaskill (ankle), fullback John Conner (shin), safety Matt Lentz (toe) missed some or all of Tuesday's workout because of injuries. Brooks said that Locke remains doubtful to play on Saturday against Eastern Kentucky.

The only bright spot was the fact that All-America cornerback Trevard Lindley returned to practice for the first time since incurring his high-ankle sprain on Oct. 3. Lindley is not 100 percent, but was able to go through most of the drills at practice.

“You just have to have other people step up and fill those spots,” Brooks said of trying to prepare for Eastern Kentucky. “The question you don't know is who or when they'll be back and who else is going to be down with them. It's just one of those things you have to deal with.”

The Wildcats host the Colonels on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be televised live on WKYT in Lexington, WYMT in Hazard and on ESPN360.com. It also will be a delayed telecast on the Big Blue Sports Network.

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 sixth-annual National College Football Day on Nov. 7 and consider making a donation to the V Foundation and help us “Blow the Whistle on Cancer.” For more information, visit www.nationalcollegefootballday.com.

Tickets Available: Tickets are available for each of Kentucky's remaining home games. However, less than 300 tickets are available for the Eastern Kentucky game and less than 400 tickets are available for the game against Tennessee.

  • Eastern Kentucky, Nov. 7, 1 p.m. $35 each
  • Tennessee, Nov. 28, time TBA, $40 each

Tickets may be purchased in-person at the Joe Craft Center Athletics Ticket Office, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., on the phone by calling 800-928-2287, or via the Internet at ukathletics.com or ticketmaster.com.

“Cat Walk” Set for 10:45: Fans wishing to participate in the “Cat Walk,” cheering the Wildcats when they enter Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, should be at Gate One of the stadium at 10:45 a.m.