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Woodson to Start Against Louisville

  • Coach Rich Brooks held his pre-Louisville news conference Monday at the Wildcat Den in Commonwealth Stadium, highlighted by the announcement that junior Andre’ Woodson will be the starting quarterback in the season opener at Louisville.

    “I met with the quarterbacks this morning and Andre’ Woodson will be our starter,” Brooks said. “I told them that I fully expect both of them to play in the game. There is no designated plan as far as a two-quarterback rotation; it will be more of a feel for what’s happening in the game. Both of them did some really good things this fall and it seemed like when one of them slipped a little the other one slipped as well, almost on the same day. This was not an easy decision, one that we went back and forth on a couple of times the past three weeks. The good news is that I feel very confident about both of their abilities to go in and play very good football for us this season.”

    Big Blue Sports Network TV Special Set to Air: The Big Blue Sports Network will air a 30-minute Kentucky football preseason special on several stations in the Kentucky area. Here’s a list of participating stations (note, all times local):

    Bowling Green, KY - WBKO - Sun. Sept. 3, 3:30 p.m.
    Hazard, KY - WYMT - Mon. Aug. 28, 8:30 p.m.
    Hopkinsville, KY - WKAG - Thurs. Aug. 31, 7:00 p.m.
    Hopkinsville, KY - WKAG - Sat. Sept. 2, 6:30 p.m.
    Huntington, WV - WSAZ - Sun. Sept. 3, 1:00 p.m.
    Lexington, KY - WKYT - Mon. Aug. 28, 8:30 p.m.
    Louisville, KY - WAVE - Sun Sept. 3, 1:00 p.m.
    Paducah, KY - WDKA - Sat. Sept. 2, 4:00 p.m.

    Head Coach Rich Brooks

    Opening statement …
    “What we are discussing here today pales in comparison to the human tragedy which is affecting our nation, city, and our state. I think sometimes events take place which put a lot of other things in perspective. My heart and prayers go out to all the families and affected people. It is just a very difficult thing to be dealing with.”

    On the injury situation …
    “We have had two players operated on that are out for the year: Joe Joe Brown (knee injury) and Darrell Stevens (broken leg, ankle ligaments). A third will have surgery this Friday, Ahmad Grigsby Jr. He had a previous (wrist) injury when he came in and aggravated it so we are going to get it operated on. We will determine his status at a later date, although he could play with a cast on. Other than that we had two linemen with shoulder problems, Travis Slaydon and Zach Hennis. Other than that we are in much better physical health then we were last year.”

    On the team’s starting quarterback …
    “I met with the quarterbacks this morning and Andre’ Woodson will be our starter. I told them that I fully expect both of them to play in the game. There is no designated plan as far as a two-quarterback rotation; it will be more of a feel for what’s happening in the game. Both of them did some really good things this fall and it seemed like when one of them slipped a little the other one slipped as well, almost on the same day. This was not an easy decision, one that we went back and forth on a couple of times the past three weeks. The good news is that I feel very confident about both of their abilities to go in and play very good football for us this season.”

    On the defense …
    “I think we are a lot more active on defense. We have more people in to the rotation to keep the players fresh on the defense side. We had some young players emerge to be factors for us not only in the first game but as the season goes along. Paul Warford is one who has had a very good fall camp (at cornerback) and we have quite a few others that are doing some good things. (Defensive end) Jeremy Jarmon, who had surgery last year on his knee, is fully recovered. He had some contact now for about seven days and is looking to move up in the rotation after coming from almost dead-last going into fall camp.”

    On what Andre’ Woodson brings to the quarterback position …
    “I think one, his ability to throw the ball deep. Also his overall passing skills, his experience at managing the offense, recognizing what the defense is trying to do as far as bilitzing, and getting us into the right play and right protection are all positives of Andre’s play. Curtis is really improved on all those things but it was just a call that we felt confident that Andre’ is managing the offense better at this point. Knowing that we have a decent running game in place, we need to stretch the defense vertically with a passing game if we expect to win.”


    Kentucky Players

    Keenan Burton, WR
    On opening the season …
    “We’re excited to strap it on and get a chance to play. We want to come out and contend. We just want to come in and put on a good show.

    “They (Louisville) have high expectations, and we want to come out and compete. We want our chance to come out and show people what we can do.

    “The Louisville-Kentucky match-up is still as exciting as it was when I was kid. It’s even more exciting for me now, because I get a chance to play. They’re (Louisville) a good team and we just want to come out and hopefully get on the same level as them and just come out and win some games this year.”

    On the team’s motivation …
    “It’s added motivation to come out and play the game and try to win. Everybody wants to come out and win 10-12 games and make it to the biggest bowl game you can, make it to the national championship. I don’t need any more motivation than to win.”

    On the team’s attitude …
    “This team is better than any team I’ve been on attitude-wise. We’re more focused; we want each other to succeed. Before it had been all about individuals and now it’s ‘we.’ We want to achieve. Mentally we’re better, physically I’ve felt we’ve always been there, but now mentally we’re ready.”

    Durrell White, DE
    On Louisville running back Michael Bush …
    “He is a big guy, actually he is bigger then me. We have been preparing for [Bush] in practice, reading the offense. We have been going through some of the normal preparations that we would for games. You just really have to have the mentality that as a defender you are going to have to bring your body, use your arms and wrap him up.”

    On the Louisville offense …
    “They are really good at what they do, as far as a lot of shifts and motions designed to confuse the defense. They use their tight ends for different things; they line up and don’t really let you know what they are going to do.”

    Marcus McClinton, FS
    On playing defense against Louisville …
    “Playing defense is more of a mental game than a physical game. We have to be on top of our shifts and motions. It is going to be tough. They are going to be playing smash-mouth football and we just have to be prepared. Once again it is about preparation, we need to be in the right place to stop the run.”

    On how the second half of last year’s game effects preparation …
    “We can use that as motivation, it shows us that we are able to do that and compete against a good team. We can look at the film from last year and look at our mistakes and look at our accomplishments. We can take what we can get from the tapes and learn what we need to do better.”

    On shutting down the Louisville offense …
    “As a safety it is important to understand what [Brian] Brohm is trying to do. He is a very good three-step passer who will look off the safeties. He is such a good quarterback you can’t just follow his eyes, you need be in position to make plays.

    “It is going to be tough but as long as we are in the position to make plays we are capable of making them. Kolby Smith is fast and quick and he can make a big play, while Michael Bush is a big, bruising back who is going to get to the sideline and he is going to be tough to slow down.”

     

     

    2014 National Signing Day Commonwealth Stadium