Wildcats want to have fun

September 17, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON - Losing is never any fun, but Kentucky cornerback Earven Flowers thinks the Wildcats have to find a way to have more fun if they want to avoid losing more games.

"Louisville was winning and making plays (in the season-opening defeat of Kentucky), but they were also having fun," said Flowers. "We would make a play and just walk off the field. You can't do that."

He says a major emphasis in practice the last two weeks since UK lost 28-0 to Louisville has been to have fun going into Saturday's game here against Indiana, a team the Cats have beaten eight of the last nine years.

"The coaches have told us not to approach this as a job," Flowers said. "They want us just to go out and have fun. The main emphasis in practice has been having fun more than anything else.


"To me, we didn't have any fun the whole game against Louisville. We were more just trying to make plays to keep them at bay, and they were out there having fun. They were ready to go from the start and we weren't. Well, we were ready, but we were not having any fun and that makes a big difference."

Flowers said even UK's veteran players might have been trying so hard to play well against Louisville that they forgot about what it takes to make winning plays.

"I think guys were so focused on not messing up on the field and doing their job that they forgot to have fun," Flowers said. "The emphasis in practice has been if you mess up, you mess up. But have fun, go full speed and enjoy the game."

Kentucky's defense allowed just one touchdown the first half before giving up two the second half to Louisville.

"I thought our performance was just average against Louisville, but our effort was great," Flowers said. "We played hard, but we made too many mistakes. That's football. You just can't give good effort. You have to also make plays and we didn't do that.

"We just have to improve this week to beat Indiana. Our defense has got better every year since I have been here. We were getting some good players, then fortunately we got coach (Mike) Archer to come here with a better scheme for us. I knew we would come around, but we still have to get better."

Recruiting help: Kentucky freshman safety Wesley Woodyard played well enough on special teams in his first collegiate game at Louisville to be named special teams captain for Saturday's game, his first in Commonwealth Stadium.

"I can't wait. It's really going to be a big game for me," Woodyard said. "I want to show that we are capable of winning games. We just have to dig deep, play hard and hit somebody in the mouth every play to make them know we are back."

He's also scheduled to have three former LaGrange (Ga.) High School teammates at the game to watch him play. All three are also being recruited by Kentucky.

Highly-touted linebacker Tray Blackmon, considered one of the nation's top recruits, will be at the game along with defensive end Braxton Kelly and receiver-cornerback Demoreo Ford. Blackmon has offers from most of the nation's top programs, but has Georgia, Florida State, LSU and Auburn at the top of his list with Georgia and Florida State the leaders.

"I'm sort of best friends with all of them," Woodyard said. "We have a close connection. They are going to come to get a little of this Wildcat faithful in their system and I think maybe that can help persuade them all to come here. I want to show them that this is where they need to be at to play in college."

He has five former high school teammates already playing at other Southeastern Conference schools.

"I would love to play with some of my high school teammates here. I would love to get those guys all up here to play and work on building for the future at Kentucky," Woodyard said. "That's why this is such a big weekend. I want to beat Indiana to show these guys what we can do."

Central Kentucky News Articles