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Kentucky Football Press Conference Quotes

  • Head Coach Rich Brooks

    On Vanderbilt…
    “They’re a team that has had a lot of difficult losses this year. Their record doesn’t indicate exactly how good a football team they are. They’ve lost very close games where they were in the lead and had it slip away. They are more of an option team than they were a year ago. (Jay) Cutler played only about eight or nine plays last week and tweaked an ankle. His replacement (Steven Bright) looks a lot like Cutler. He’s a big kid who runs the option pretty well and throws it pretty well. They ran for almost 250 yards last week, and for a defense that has had trouble stopping the run (UK) that doesn’t bode well. This is a team that runs more option than anyone we’ve seen with the exception of Ohio two years ago. They run different kinds of options – down the line with counter-type options and veer options as well. We will be spending some time this week making sure we take care of the dive, the quarterback and the pitch. Defensively, they’re a team that has played well. They tackle well, and they play sound, solid defense. They’re not an easy team to run the ball on. Their defensive stats are down near the bottom of the conference, like ours are, but they’ve played some very good defense against some of the better teams in this league.”

    On the Kentucky’s lack of depth at cornerback…
    “We are almost out (of cornerbacks). We will work Claude Sagaille at corner. (Karl) Booker is really our only healthy corner. Clem Fennell, a walk-on, will get some reps this week. I believe Antoine (Huffman) will be able to play, but the toe is a tough injury for a corner. It’s my hope that he’ll settle down where he can plant and break on the ball.”

    On the Kentucky senior class…
    “There are a lot of outstanding young men in this group. These guys have been through basically one good season and most of their time has not been up to their expectations from when they came to play football at Kentucky. It’s an outstanding group of young men. Most of them have either graduated or are on track to graduate, and I think that’s significant.”

    On whether it’s discouraging to find new ways to win with players becoming injured every week…
    “I don’t think its discouraging. It’s a challenge to come up with a game plan where you can put people in position where they will have a chance to be successful.”

    On who will start in Ellery Moore’s place if he cannot play…
    “Ricky Abren will start at end if Ellery is out. Lamar (Mills) will be at the nose, and Jason Leger will get his first start.”

    On whether QB Andre’ Woodson will start…
    “If he can practice enough this week, yes. It’s critically important for Andre’, being a young quarterback, that he gets a lot of reps in preparation. I hope he’ll be able to do that, but I really don’t know at this point. There are a lot of tough decisions to make. What happens at that spot depends on what happens this week in practice, but both (quarterbacks) will play, whether it’s Shane starting with Woodson coming in or if it’s the other way around. They’re both going to play.”

    On the positive things he found against Georgia…
    “When you look at the two games (Auburn and Mississippi State) that preceded this, and you look at the number of sacks we gave up, other than the one that was negated by the facemask penalty, we didn’t give up a sack against some very good pass rushers (Georgia). Andre’ Woodson and Rafael Little had their most productive games and looked very good in building around them for the future. We had one of our better offensive productions against a very talented and skilled defensive football team in recent weeks. Defensively, we played pretty well for a while until we started giving up the big chunks with the deep passes. I thought for quite a bit of the game, and particularly in the first half, we played pretty solid defense. Then, the avalanche happened in the fourth quarter and everything broke down and kind of buried the things you could point to as positive things.”

    On whether this has been his toughest season as a head coach…
    “I’ve been through tough years, but this one is climbing the charts as one of the toughest. It’s one thing to go in with some expectation of what you’re capable of doing, and then have those expectations not be reached. Then it’s another thing to see the shifting lineups based on performance and injury. But, the light at the end of the tunnel is something you hang on to.”

    On whether the season has had a negative effect on recruiting…
    “At this point, it has not had a major impact, but that doesn’t mean people won’t come in and pound the people that have committed to us and try to get them to turn around. But, we had a young man in this past weekend, and it went very well. I’m pretty optimistic about the recruiting class. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to lose some of the guys we have on our list. The good news is our list is pretty broad and we have a lot of good players on that list.”

    On TE Eric Scott…
    “Eric has great hands, but he still needs to be a little better at running routes. He is still inconsistent on assignments. Tight end was not his position in high school; he was a fullback. When he knows what he’s doing and knows who he’s going to block, he does a good job of blocking. He really has outstanding hands. He made a couple of catches (against Georgia) with people hanging all over him.”

    On WR Gerad Parker…
    “He’s a solid guy and a great person. You know what you’re going to get from Gerad every day, and it’s going to be his best effort every single time he goes out. He’s had a star-crossed career with injuries and hasn’t played that much. He has gone through a lot of things, and that speaks very highly of his character.”

    On preparing for Senior Day…
    “It’s a big day for people that have been in this program. It’s my hope, as it was last year, that our players will really go and sell out and play their hearts out to try to bring some positive things for those seniors in their last home game at Commonwealth Stadium. We played Tennessee pretty tough last year before we got crippled up in that game. There were a lot of good things in that game and our players went out and played their hearts out even though we came up without the win.”


    UK Players

    Aaron Miller, OT
    On getting to play as a freshman …
    “It’s been really exciting coming out and playing early against the best competition in the nation. It’s pretty fun, getting out there and banging heads with those big guys, some of the best athletes playing defensive line. It’s been exciting.”

    On if he thought he would play this much this early…
    “I could gauge how well I could play early in practice because I was going up against one of the best in Sweet Pea Burns. So, I felt like I could come out and compete pretty well.”

    On how to take the losing streak…
    “It’s pretty tough. You just have to stay positive in your approach and come in and grind it.”

    On how to stay positive…
    “You just think about the positive things you did in the last game and see if you can build on that, see if you can be more consistent at it.”

    Scott Mitchell, WR
    On Andre Woodson…
    “You can tell in the past (that) when he’s come in the game he’s been anxious. You can see the growth in him as he gets more playing time.”

    On the good play of young players …
    “That’s what we’re trying to build on. With this season, we have two games left. We are trying to build for next season and send the seniors out with something they can be proud of.”

    On the emotion of Senior Day…
    “I think it’s up to us to sustain that excitement and emotion the whole game. If we play like that the whole game through, then we’ll definitely be in a position to win.”

    On having some good drives against good defenses like Auburn and Georgia…
    “We need to execute better every drive. You can see what we’re capable of against those teams and defenses that are good. We need to put more of those drives together and execute on every down.”

    Jon Sumrall, LB
    On the mood of team…
    “It (Vanderbilt) is the last game the seniors have at home, we want to do our best to send them out on a good note. Those guys have been through a lot.”

    On Vanderbilt fans tearing the goalposts down last year…
    “I remember them tearing the goalposts down. The way that we have played this year, there is no telling what our fans will do if we could just get a win for them. I remember those guys doing that and I want to experience a win because we haven’t experienced it in several weeks now. It is something that when you get it, you cherish it because you don’t always know when you are going to get one. We are going out there and give it the best effort we can to give the seniors a win.”

    On the rest of the season and postseason…
    “More than anything now we are concerned with getting a win. Everybody knows that we are not going to a bowl game and everybody knows that we are not competing for anything like that. We are competing for our pride and we are competing for feeling that experience like getting a ‘W’ because there is no other feeling like that.”

    On the senior banners on the wall in the Wildcat Den…
    “I am sitting in here thinking, ‘These are the guys that were here just a year before I was.’ And, how little time I have left, to be honest with you, and how quick it has gone for these guys it is going the same way for me. Looking around at some of these names, guys that were freshmen when I was a senior in high school, it brings it to reality. You never expect to see their names up there. It shows you how fast it goes, and how much you have to cherish it because it goes so quick that you never know when it is going to end.”

    On how long the Senior Day emotion will carry into the game…
    “I don’t really know. Personally, coming in here now and seeing those names up there… as freshman you only spend three or four months with the seniors but when you are my age and this is your fourth year, you see those banners of those guys that you have put some time and work in with, and sweated and bled for and with. I get kind of emotional looking around at some of the names like; Earven Flowers, Sweet Pea (Burns) and Ellery Moore. I want those guys who have given everything they have, to see them to go out the right way.”

     

     

  • 2014 National Signing Day Commonwealth Stadium