Wildcats Back at Practice

Dec. 12, 2008

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After four days off, the Kentucky football team got back to work Friday morning with a two-hour practice in Nutter Field House.

“We’re rotating everybody through, getting some good fundamental work with some of the young guys and the guys who are going to play in the (bowl) game,” Coach Rich Brooks said. “That’s one of the real advantages of bringing your program along is getting those young people extra work. The teams that are in bowl games get a huge advantage on that. It’s like having two spring practices.”

From the end of the regular season until the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Jan. 2, Kentucky will have 17 practices, three of which have been completed already, plus the game itself. Teams have 15 workouts allotted during spring practice, including the spring game.

Brooks is excited about taking his team to a third-straight post-season appearance following victories in the 2006 and 2007 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl.

“It’s a real great thing for them, the young players who have never experienced a bowl trip of any kind, the seniors who have been to two successful ones,” Brooks said. “Now they’re going to a different environment and different game. I’m not sure how many bowl games can say they’ve been in business for 50 years like the Liberty Bowl and all the great players, coaches and teams that have been in those games. This is a historical thing in my mind for the University of Kentucky, the very first appearance in a bowl game that’s been around for 50 years.”

Brooks was asked if the Liberty Bowl had a special place in his heart, given that he played in the fourth edition of the contest – a 6-0 win for Oregon State over Villanova in 1962.

“It really does,” Brooks said. “It was a meaningful experience for me, my only bowl game, and it was a successful one. It was my last college football game, so it was a good way to go out.”