Kentucky Has Good Practice in Cold Weather

Nov. 24, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky football team practiced for roughly two hours in cold temperatures and a slight rain Wednesday, however head coach Joker Phillips said the Wildcats were upbeat and focused at the Nutter Training Facility practice fields.

"It was good," Phillips said. "We had to fight through the cold and all that stuff and you are always concerned when you go out and it is cold like this. But our focus was there and as you can hear, this team is upbeat and ready to go ... They did what they had to do today."

The Wildcats are in the final stages of preparing for their final regular-season game of the year against Southeastern Conference foe Tennessee on Saturday. One area of concern for Phillips and the UK coaching staff entering the game is UT's ability to score points and jump on an opponent early.

The Vols scored 21 first-quarter points on Ole Miss a few weeks ago and have outscored opponents 94-44 in the first quarter this season. Phillips said that not only are the quick starts giving confidence to the Tennessee offense but it also makes the defense more confident and dangerous.

"They are playing great offense," Phillips said. "That is what they are doing right now, playing great offense and scoring a lot of points which gives your defense a lot of confidence when you go on the field for the first time and it is 7-0 and then you go out there the second time and it is 14-0 and you go out there the next time and its 21-0."

Kentucky has had problems coming out of the gate strong this season, getting outscored in the first quarter 90-71. The first-year head coach said it is very important for Kentucky to play well early in the Tennessee game.

"No doubt about that," Phillips said. "We have to play fast from the first snap. If we play like we have been playing in the first half we could be down too much where we can't fight and battle back. That is the thing we don't want to do. We want try to match their intensity."

The Wildcats will return to the practice field Thanksgiving morning before breaking after practice for players to enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends. The Wildcats will reconvene Friday afternoon for a brief walk-through before heading down to Knoxville Friday afternoon.