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    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    Three And Out: Kentucky Wildcats

    In an effort to get to know about Kentucky's football team, our "Three And Out" comes by way of Chip Cosby who is a reporter at the Lexington Herald-Leader. Chip covers University of Kentucky football and University of Louisville basketball for the paper. A 1996 UK graduate, he has been with the Herald-Leader for 11 years and has covered the UK football team since 2000. He also teaches journalism classes part time at UK. Thanks to Chip for the answers.

    1. Everyone knows about Kentucky's very talented QB Andre Woodson. Who else on offense are the playmakers for Kentucky?

    Kentucky had one of the most productive wide receiver groups in the SEC, as four players had 50 or more receptions. Senior Steve Johnson emerged as the go-to-guy with 54 catches for 928 yards and a league-high 11 TD's. Johnson scored the game-winning touchdowns against Louisville and LSU. Senior receiver Keenan Burton was slowed by knee ankle injuries for much of the year but still finished with 59 catches for 685 yards and nine scores, and junior Dicky Lyons chipped in 51 receptions for 577 yards and seven TD's. UK also has an All-SEC tight end in senior Jacob Tamme (53 catches, 584 yards, five TD's). Senior tailback Rafael Little ran for a team-high 861 yards, and true freshman Derrick Locke was solid as a backup.

    2. Kentucky lost four out of their last five games. Was it all about the calibre teams they played or were there other reasons also?

    Kentucky did lose to some good teams. The week after the LSU game, they battled Florida hard before falling 45-37. Then UK was emotionally drained and beaten up headed into a home game with Mississippi State the next week. Kentucky came out flat, MSU was fired up, and the Bulldogs rolled to a 31-14 win. They had a week off to heal after that game and did pull out a seven-point win at Vandy. They then closed the season with losses to Georgia and Tennessee (in four OTs). Kentucky had chances to win both of those games but couldn't make that game-turning play that they needed. Kentucky's biggest problem the last few weeks has been inconsistency in the offensive line. They haven't run the ball as well as they did earlier in the year, and they've allowed teams to get pressure on Andre Woodson. That threw the offense out of sync down the stretch, although they showed signs of breaking out of the slump in the second half against Tennessee.

    3. What are the keys for Kentucky to be successful against FSU in the Music City Bowl?

    Kentucky has to pass protect. Florida State still has a lot of speed and athleticism on defense, and if they can get in Woodson's face, they can disrupt the UK offense. If Kentucky's line does hold up, they should be able to have some success throwing the ball downfield on the Seminoles.

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