Weekly Football Press Conference Coverage

Nov. 10, 2008

Head Coach Rich Brooks

Opening Statement...
"Injury report: Kyrus Lanxter had an x-ray on his shoulder that is still botheringhim. If he practices tomorrow, it will be no contact for him. We do have somesickness that continues to go through the team. Micah Johnson was sick Fridaynight before the game and Calvin Harrison has come down with it as well so hedoesn't know if he will practice tomorrow or not. Myron Pryor is also sick andhis ankle has flared back up on him with some swelling.

"This game is going to be very important game for both teams. It seems like it is a yearly thing when we play Vanderbilt that we need the win and so do they. They need it for bowl eligibility and we need the win to secure a bowl game. This is a team that has played outstanding defense and has been very efficient in taking the football away from their opponent. They have been good at not giving the ball up on offense too. They score enough to win and have done a good job of running the option and running the football in general. Both quarterbacks (Adams and Nickson) present multiple problems to us with their feet. Defensively, they are very sound. They tackle extremely well and give you a variety of zone pressure and blitzes and they change things up and create a lot of movement. This will be a very hard-fought football game and it will be a very competitive football game -- one that both teams need to win."

On if Vanderbilt has some extra motivation coming into this game...
"I don't think there is any question they are going to be pumped up and theywill have plenty of motivation. Some of that can be revenge, because we havekind of kept them out of the bowl picture a little bit (in previous seasons).They have beaten some teams that we haven't been able to beat and we have beatensome teams that they haven't been able to beat. It is a different year, and thebottom line is that one of us has to come out with the win. It will be wild."

On what this year's graduating seniors mean to him...
"This group of guys was here when things weren't so good and they have broughtsome credibility back to Kentucky football with the two bowl wins. This seasonhas teetered on really good and heartbreaking. We have lost three conferencegames by three points, four points and seven points. It has been a year of frustrationbut we are still in position to do some good things. This game is a must winfor us to send them out on senior night with a positive experience."

On what this year's seniors can do to create their own legacy here at Kentucky ...
"They all have a great legacy here, but they can certainly extend their legacyby going to their third-straight bowl game. They can certainly remove themselvesfrom the shadows of last year's class by winning this week and against Tennesseeto get to eight regular-season victories, which neither team before them accomplishedthe last two years."

On DeMoreo Ford's retirement from football...
"There is still not an exact science but if you are getting repeated concussionsand the concussions are coming easier then it is not a good sign. He has beenone of our toughest guys and is a good blocker. You don't know what the limitis, but you certainly don't want to go over the limit when you are talking aboutyour brain. He is assuming a student coach role for the remainder of this season.He will be out there coaching our young guys, telling them how to line up andmaking sure they know what to do. He is a guy that brings a lot of passion towhat he has done as a player and I think that will translate over to what hecan do as a coach."

On if he is disappointed that no wide receiver has stepped up his play more...
"Yeah, I would have hoped that someone would have been more assertive and productiveat this point. You can see flashes of it in practice and in games but the consistencyhasn't come. It is really hard for most freshmen to come in and play at a highlevel in this league, especially ones that could use a year of bettering theirphysical strength. With that strength comes confidence as well. It is what itis and we are getting some production and hopefully we can continue to get itto increase."

On the offense being so different from the offense of Kentucky teams in years past...
"We are trying to win games and do it the best way we can with what we have available.We would like to keep the same offense that we have had the last couple of yearsbut if you're not throwing and catching it well then you have to try somethingto win games and that's where we are at right now. This offense has taken a littlebit of a turn and Randall has provided us with a different kind of way to movethe football. We will continue to do that and then assess where we are at inspring practice next year. For right now, we will continue to do what we aredoing."

On Trevard Lindley's injury...
"He is still questionable. We really won't know till tomorrow. He was bettertoday. We will see if he can run tomorrow and see how he has come along."

On if he thought that Randall Cobb's celebration penalty was a good call...
"Yeah, they penalized a quarterback from Washington for throwing the ball inthe air, so yes (it was a good call). It is a point of emphasis and you cannotdo anything to bring any attention to yourself when you score. It was a verycostly penalty for us. It was exuberant and it wasn't all that bad, but a penalty.You can tell I didn't like it all that much."

On if he will change the pregame routine to try to stop slow starts and create more energy...
"Maybe we can scrimmage (laughter from audience). They better get the messagethat we have to come out and play with more energy than we did against Georgia."

Player Quotes

Braxton Kelley #56

On what the upcoming Vanderbilt game and senior day means to him...
"It means a lot to me, having been here for four years and coming in to try tomake an immediate impact. It's been a great journey coming from LaGrange HighSchool in Georgia, and be able to come up here and play in the SEC and competein one of the best leagues in the nation. Coming into this Vanderbilt game, Iknow there's going to be a lot of emotion before the game, especially knowingit's going to be my last. With all of my family here to support me, it wouldbe huge for me to go out in my final game at Commonwealth Stadium with a win.We really have to prepare to beat a very good Vanderbilt team in order for usto do that."

On extending the legacy that last year's team left...
"I think if we go out with eight wins this season, it would be huge. It wouldbe a better season than we had last year, and we all know the type of talentthat we lost from last year's team, and how teams around the nation gained respectfor us so that we could be where we are today. We lost Keenan (Burton), Andre(Woodson), Jacob (Tamme), Rafael (Little) and Wesley (Woodyard) and all of thoseguys are now playing in the NFL. We've played some very close games against highly-rankedopponents. No one would have ever expected us to play those teams like we'veplayed them. I don't believe in a moral victory, but I don't think anyone inthe nation expected us to be as close in those games as we were. I feel thatthis football program at UK has come a long way."

On what games he thought had been most important in his career and to UK...
"The wins against Georgia and LSU at home (were important). The Georgia gametwo years ago was huge and really got us going. It made us a better team. Beforethat game, I don't think that guys expected to win. They were going in expectingto hopefully win or stay in the game. I feel that the Georgia game turned theUK program around. It showed the next year when we went out and beat the numberone team in the nation and the eventual national champions (LSU). There are certainthings you have to do to make yourself believe that you can do something. I thinkbeating Georgia that year really put us in a position that we could go out andbelieve that we could compete with anyone."

Jeremy Jarmon #99

On if the team has moved on from the loss to Georgia...
"We're trying to move on. I'd be lying right now if I said we had completelymoved on because we haven't gotten back into pads. That's something that we'regoing to do tomorrow. We looked at film, we've seen the mistakes we made, andwe've moved on from that aspect. But (Saturday's loss) still hurts."

On the biggest mistakes that were made...
"(Biggest mistakes made) were lack of tackling. There were a few times when weweren't in our gaps. Luckily we were able to make plays and there weren't reallytoo many good plays in (Georgia's) running game. (The biggest mistakes) werelack of tackling, missed assignments, mental errors."

On the importance of the upcoming game against Vanderbilt...
"This is a very important game for both teams. I think that this game is whatI would call a do-or-die game. We've kept (Vanderbilt) out the past two yearsfor bowl eligibility. They needed a win against us to get their sixth win, andwe've gotten our sixth or seventh against them. They're going to come out firedup. We have to match their intensity because this game is going to determinethe future of both teams."

On Vanderbilt's ability...
"(Vanderbilt) is a very good football team. The reason they started out 5-0 isbecause they were very responsible with the football. They were able to takethe football away from other teams' offenses. Their offense didn't put the ballon the ground. They're a very sound and fundamental football team. They're goingto come in here ready to beat us."

Justin Jeffries #76

On (Kentucky's) offensive line giving up the least sacks of anyone in the SEC...
"We've taken pride in that. Our quarterbacks do a good job of getting the balloff quickly. We hold our blocks as long as we can, and I think the big key isthat they get the ball off as quickly as they can."

On having a good running game against Georgia...
"I think we came out focused. That was our key point to do all week. We tookit personally, and thought we had to get out there and get the job done. I thinkthat's what we tried to do."

On if the offense's performance made the team feel better about the loss...
"Being able to put up 200 or so yards rushing against a stout defense like (Georgia)is a big thing. I think it makes us feel better. Obviously, the loss hurts. Beingout there, I want to win. I think it hurts, but it makes us feel a little betterat the same time."

On if he thought freshman quarterback Randall Cobb displayed confidence on the last drive ...
"I had no questions. Randall had that personality in the huddle that made mefeel comfortable. I had no questions about him being able to take us down andscore."

On talking to Cobb since the loss...
"I've talked to him. He's a freshman, and things like that are going to happen.He's going to do what we all do, and that's put it behind us. We have to go andget ready for Vanderbilt."

David Jones #7

On getting over Saturday's loss...
"Yesterday we watched films and corrected our mistakes, put this game behindus and (begin to) get ready for Vanderbilt."

On being surprised about the high score against the team...
"With an offense like Georgia has, we're not really shocked but we are shockedabout the way we performed. Obviously we gave up some big plays in that gameand they had some success on our defense."

On Vanderbilt...
"Vanderbilt is a great team. You have to show them a lot of respect because they'regoing to come in here and try to get their sixth win for the bowl game and we'retrying to get our seventh win for a better bowl game. It's going to be a battle."

On playing the last game of his college career...
"It came up on me fast. I think this game's going to be really emotional forall the seniors. This week in practice we need to make sure everyone gets focusedand stays focused and then go out there and play with a bang because this isthe last game the seniors will be playing in Commonwealth (Stadium). I thinkI will get emotional this week because of my passion for football and my passionfor Kentucky football. I'm surprised it's about over because it seems like yesterdayI was a freshman and now I'm a senior. I've grown a lot since my first year.My freshman year I wasn't really the type of person that would go out there andplay hard and then put a play behind me. Now I've gotten to the point where Ican just play the next play and even make big plays. That's a huge differenceand you can tell my performance from my freshman year to now and how I am inpractice, going hard and trying to be leader to the other guys."

Alfonso Smith #29

On getting the running game started...
"I think the key was being able to mix it up with [Randall] Cobb at the quarterbackand [Tony] Dixon and me in the back field. The speed really put pressure on [Georgia ] and I think that helped open up things. When you run the option I thinkthe defense has to play a simple defense which can hold them back a little bit."

On what the feel of the film session was like Sunday...
"I think everybody got over the loss and put it behind them. I think we're readyfor Vanderbilt and we know that we have the next two games and have to reallyplay well to win and go for a better bowl. Vanderbilt will come in here and tryto become bowl eligible so it's going to be a tough one."

On comparing the game vs. Vanderbilt with the game against MSU...
"There are a lot of similarities. We went down to Mississippi State and we weretrying to become bowl eligible and we knew it was going to be a fight becauseMSU was trying to get some wins under their belt and try for a bowl too. Vanderbiltis trying to come in here and get that sixth win and we're trying to get a seventhwin to get to a better bowl. There's a lot riding on the line."

On how the team feels after the loss...
"I think the team has definitely moved on and we have an opportunity to do somegreat things. We still have Vanderbilt and Tennessee . We're still in a positionto do something great, to have a better season than the past two seasons, andwin eight games in the regular season with the possibility of nine in a bowlgame. We can really do better than we've done in the past."