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    Sunday, December 16, 2007

    Wildcats Begin Preparing For Noles

    Kentucky Sports Information:

    Following final examinations, the Kentucky football team returned to practice Saturday and Sunday afternoon as the Wildcats prepare to play Florida State in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl.

    The Wildcats practiced for two hours each day in the climate-controlled comfort of the Nutter Field House. Rain, cold, and high winds kept the team off the normal outdoor practice field during the weekend.

    “We’re still continuing to work on fundamentals, but we’re also beginning to concentrate on Florida State,” Coach Rich Brooks said. “We’re working on how we’ll attack their defense, how we’re going to try to defend their offense, and strategy for the kicking game.”

    Brooks also spoke of the advantage of having 15 extra practices, plus the bowl game, in order to help the team get a head start on the 2008 season.

    “The advantage of bowl practice is that it’s so important to the advancement of your program because you get extra work with your young players and (other) players who haven’t played a lot,” said Brooks, whose team will have 15 extra practices, plus the bowl game, in December. That’s basically equal to a spring practice session, which features 15 practice opportunities.

    “A lot of guys are starting to show up,” said Brooks, when asked about young players who are catching the coaches’ attention in practice. “(Freshman offensive guard) Stuart Hines has been extremely impressive in fundamental work. We’re looking forward to having that group (five freshman offensive linemen) in spring practice.

    “(Freshman wide receiver) Kyrus Lanxter has done some extremely good things in our practices. He looks like a guy we can clearly go forward with. (Redshirt freshman quarterback) Mike Hartline is throwing the ball a lot better than he did earlier.”

    Kentucky will practice each day through Sat. Dec. 22 before taking a break for Christmas. Brooks hopes weather will allow the team to be outside on Monday.

    “My understanding is that tomorrow is supposed to be just cold, maybe sunny, so you might see us outside for practice tomorrow,” said Brooks, who also was asked if the players were looking forward to going back outside.

    “Some are not,” Brooks laughed. “Some would rather be outside. Some just still like the warmth.”

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