Music City Bowl Blog

Throughout the week leading up to the Music City Bowl, UK seniors Jacob Tamme and Wesley Woodyard will provide entries to a blog. Updates will appear on this page at the top.

Friday, Jan. 4

#16 Wesley Woodyard, LB
When we drove into the stadium, we didn’t see any fans because we were looking at the spot where the Cat Walk was last year. But, then we turned the corner and we were amazed. The Cat Walk was 10 times bigger than it was last year. A lot of people thought our fans and the team wouldn’t be excited to be back, but when we saw that line of fans we knew Big Blue was back.

I can say that the was special to me, because it is my last one. It was wonderful to be able to walk by and personally thank everybody out there, by giving high fives and everything. We finally got a chance to give back to all of those people that just wanted a good football team.

During the game it was our last time the defense could be together as a unit. We wanted to make sure we had fun. Throughout the course of the game, nobody was mad or upset; everybody was just excited to be out there. We weren’t satisfied with just one big play; we wanted to keep making play after play. The seniors were glad to be out there one last time together, but we were looking for the defense to step up and take a new leadership role. As Coach (Chuck) Smith says, “It’s time to pass the torch.” I think we did that.

People credit this senior class with being the face of the program and turning it around. We’ve had a great run, and we’re leaving behind an improved team that is hungry for continued success. Remember though, in times of adversity stay with the team. There are going to be ups and downs, and as the saying goes it is always darkest before dawn. Being a True Blue fan means you stay with them through negative times. You believed us, and trusted us that we would pull things through. Don’t ever forget that.

I just want to thank the fans for sticking behind me personally. You all made sure I kept my head straight. In my first few years it wasn’t as successful as we had hoped. But, through hard work and determination we were able to turn it around. Thank you for packing Commonwealth Stadium and making it a fun place to play in.

Continue to Believe in Blue!

Wednesday, Jan. 2

#18 Jacob Tamme, TE
Coming out of the tunnel for pre-game was really a perfect way to start the game for me. Typically we have some time to stand down in the tunnel and wait to be introduced, but at the bowl game as soon as you turned the corner into the tunnel we were sprinting out onto the field. That really was a great thing for me, because it immediately made me focus on the game and what was about to happen. I didn’t have a chance to dwell on any ‘lasts’.

We came out to a sea of blue and white and that really uplifted us and inspired us from the get-go. I had a great start to the game, and couldn’t have scripted it any better with a touchdown catch. I thought our team once again found ways to win the game, which is what we’ve done all year long. We made some mistakes along the way, but we pulled it out again. The defense’s goal line stand was really incredible, and even though we turned the ball right back over to them, I thought that was a turning point in the game for our defense. Our defense did a really unbelievable job once again.

After we had won and we were all back in the locker room I had so many different emotions going through my head. It really was hard for me to realize that I had just played my last game, not only for Kentucky, but also with this group of guys. It means a lot to me having been able to suit up with this group of guys. There were a lot of hugs going around, and we were all so excited to end on such a positive note.

I want to thank all of the fans out there for their continued support. You’ve embraced our team and stuck with us through thick and thin. You’ve been an incredible group of people and this year has been extra special. I always knew that our fan base was just waiting for the Kentucky football program to explode, and we finally were able to accomplish that I knew they would make Commonwealth Stadium into one of the hardest places in the country to play. You all proved me right. It’s been a blessing for me to be a Kentucky Wildcat. I hope that the Kentucky fans will continue to support the program and the group of guys I’m leaving behind in the same way you’ve supported us in the last two seasons.

Thanks and Go Cats!

Sunday, Dec. 30

#18 Jacob Tamme, TE
Last night (Saturday) I kind of hung out in my room and relaxed. I caught a little bit of the Patriots-Giants game, and saw the Patriots turn in an undefeated regular season. I just chilled out and started getting relaxed and ready for the game.

Today we got some time to relax in the morning. We went out to LP Field and got a chance to have a walk- through and see the field. We also fine-tuned some last details for our game plan tomorrow. It was a chance for us to start to get our minds prepared for tomorrow’s game. We also took a team photo.

The rest of the day we have position and team meetings. It’s starting to feel like our regular game preparation routine. Bowl games are so different than a regular season game. But, now that we are in our final 24 hours, it’s starting to feel like game day. All of the guys are ready and we’re just starting to get focused and ready to go. We’re looking forward to coming out to the field tomorrow and seeing the sea of blue and white.

Saturday, Dec. 29

#16 Wesley Woodyard, LB
Last night we got a chance to go undefeated in five straight competitions at the Music City Bowl, and we achieved our goal. Braxton Kelley took home the victory for us in the NASCAR competition. Of course he had to cheat me to win it! He got out of the qualifying round by wrecking my car. So I was kind of a little upset, especially when he went on to win, knowing that it could have been me. But, it was another exciting night to just be able to go out and have fun with our teammates and we came out with another win.

I had my final practice this afternoon, and it was exciting. It’s been a lot of hard work in four years, and I’ve been excited every moment that I’ve been here. Just to get another chance to go out here and be with my teammates another time has been incredible for me. I finally got a chance to hit Andre’ Woodson on the last tackle drill, so that was a lot of fun!

One of the last things we do is swap our jerseys around to try and confuse the coaches and staff, and to have fun with one another. Today, I wore Micah Johnson’s No. 4 jersey. We are trying to find some new leaders on the defense for next season, and Micah wore my jersey today. Hopefully, Micah will be one of those guys to lead the defense next year. I think he’s going to do pretty well.

Tonight we are just going to relax. We’ll watch a little film, and then go back to our rooms. We’ll probably kick back and put on a movie. Tomorrow we have our walk through and a team picture, and then it’ll be game time!

Friday, Dec. 28

#18 Jacob Tamme, TE
This morning we had an FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) breakfast. Our guys and some of the Florida State guys got together for a meal and a chance to talk about the important things in life. Both squads were able to put things into perspective. We talked about God, and being able to share in that with people.

I had the opportunity to speak on behalf of Kentucky, and it was another great experience for me. Coach (Bobby) Bowden and Drew Weatherford spoke for Florida State, and it was truly an honor to get to share in that experience with those two men. Any time you get a chance to speak in front of people, it’s an opportunity to positively impact people.

We have a NASCAR competition to go to tonight. We are undefeated in any Music City Bowl competition in the past two years, so the pressure is going to be on us again tonight. It’s going to be intense. We have about eight to 10 guys who are going to take part in it, and Mike Hartline is the reigning champion. It’s a big tournament, and we have to bring home the win because we don’t like to lose things here.

Thursday, Dec. 27

#16 Wesley Woodyard, LB
It was really exciting to see our guys go out on top again tonight (Thursday) in the rib eating contests. Dre’ (Andre’ Woodson), Stevie (Johnson), (Jason) Leger and (Josh) Winchell went out on top in the team portion of the rib-eating contests. And then our man Jorge (Gonzalez) took home the belt (individual champion) for the second year in a row. We were out there having fun, cheering him on. It was great to see us go undefeated again in the friendly competition events. The food was good and it was really nice to sit and hang out with the guys.

A lot of people were worried about us coming back to the Music City Bowl and not having any fun. But, tonight was a display that we are still going to be excited about where we are. It’s another chance to play.

Practice is going really good so far. Coach Brooks complemented us on how we were out there flying around and having fun. That’s something we’ve got to do every day, to make sure that we are preparing ourselves to win a football game. We’re heading in the right direction with the way that we are practicing.

Wednesday, Dec. 26

#18 Jacob Tamme, TE
We got up this morning, packed, and got on the road with my wife, Allison. We met one of her friends in Bowling Green and had lunch. We came on in (to Nashville), parked, and went through the maze that is the Opryland Hotel and got to our room. We had team meeting tonight and heard from the Music City Bowl people and Coach Brooks.

When you get here you start to realize that it's for real. It's good to be here and get settled in. It's an awesome hotel. It's a great experience just to be here. It was like a reunion (at the team meeting) even though you're just gone for three or four days. All the guys were in there, hugging, slapping hands, everybody's talking about Christmas. It had that feel of a reunion even though we've been away from each other just three or four days.

Tomorrow (Thursday) we'll get up, have breakfast, have meetings, and then practice. After practice we'll get a little more time to relax. We'll have the official welcome party tomorrow night. The most important thing is practice. We have to keep our heads in the right spot preparing for the game.



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