Brooks says Cats showed improvement in practice

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky football team showed some improvement during Thursday morning’s practice at the Nutter Training Center.

“It was a better practice today,” said Coach Rich Brooks, who was upset after the team’s performance in Wednesday’s workout. “It was improved over yesterday, but it would be very hard not to be improved. I met with some of our reps (team council members) and seniors today and I think they tried a little harder and that’s what we need to see more of out here. We have so much improvement to do. Every day you don’t get better, somebody else is.”

Brooks indicated that the team is working to develop more player leadership after the graduation of the 2007 senior class that was noted for having several exceptional leaders.

“We had a major evaporation of leadership that went out with that senior class that had been leaders for two or three years and we need other people to step into that void,” Brooks said. “We elected captains and elected reps by their teammates, but that doesn’t leave them as the only people who can be spokesmen on our football team. That’s what the group that just left took on themselves as early as their freshman and sophomore years. We just need to have people understand the process and what needs to be done to get better.”

In other news, Brooks indicated that he was near a decision but did not announce whether sophomore Mike Hartline or freshman Randall Cobb would be the starting quarterback in Saturday’s game vs. Middle Tennessee.

“We’ll play both quarterbacks in the first half and depending on who’s moving the ball the best, that one might play a little more than the other one,” Brooks said.

The Wildcats play host to the Blue Raiders on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for $35 each. The game may be seen live via pay-per-view in the state of Kentucky (fans should call their local cable or satellite provider to order the game). Outside Kentucky, fans may see the game on ESPN GamePlan. It also will be a delayed telecast on participating Big Blue Sports Network stations.

God’s Pantry Collection at the Game: The UK Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is having its annual collection to benefit God’s Pantry Food Bank on Saturday before the Middle Tennessee game. Fans are encouraged to make financial donations at the game.

UK student-athletes will be in the Commonwealth Stadium parking lots and the stadium gates to take donations. This event is the kickoff for the “Together We Can” drive, sponsored by the Southeastern Conference, which will be taking place at SEC schools through Sept. 28.

God’s Pantry serves 50 counties of central and eastern Kentucky, providing food for families in need.

Fans also can make donations online at

Fans Should Arrive at 4:45 p.m. for the Cat Walk: Fans planning to attend the “Cat Walk” – cheering the players as they enter at the stadium – should arrive at Gate One of Commonwealth Stadium by 4:45 p.m.

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