Wildcats continue to look sharp in practice

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky football team continued to perform well on the practice fields Saturday morning, holding its second Tuesday-type practice in as many days at the Nutter Training Center.

Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips was all smiles after practice, saying he continues to be pleased with his team’s effort and focus after a very sharp practice on Saturday.

“This is our second Tuesday-type practice and we had a really good practice,” Phillips said. “We had a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of zip. We did change some things in terms of some of the plays and looks we gave the guys. But they were really sharp today and we need to be even sharper tomorrow.”

Kentucky, which has practiced in full pads the last two days, will go in helmets and shoulder pads Sunday. Phillips said Sunday’s practice will be a typical Wednesday practice before a Thursday-type practice on Monday and Tuesday to set the final preparation for the season opener against WKU on Sept. 1.

Phillips said the change of schedule has generated some buzz around the team from both players and coaches that game week is here.

“It is game week, definitely,” Phillips said when asked if the team was getting excited with the season opener under a week away. “The coaches are different, too, in game week. We are getting after them (the players) a little bit more this week because we understand what this week is. It’s game week. Even some of the veterans are taking a little bit more charge this week also. They know what time it is.”

Overall, Phillips is enthused heading into the season opener because of the positive attitude and dedicated effort he is getting from his team on a daily basis.

“I feel really good,” Phillips said. “A lot of it has to do with the attitude and the effort we are getting. We are getting more effort. As fast as we practiced last year, we are practicing faster this year.”

Phillips also announced after practice Saturday that offensive lineman Stuart Hines has been getting increased practice repetitions as he continues to recover from a sprained knee. Phillips said Hines is expected to play in the WKU game but might not start and is not expected to play the entire game.

Join UK Alumni to Kickoff Wildcat Football Season in Nashville: Join alumni and friends for some pregame fun as the Kentucky Wildcats kick off the 2011 season against the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers at LP Field on Sept. 1.

The pregame event begins at 5:00 p.m. ET at Limelight Nashville, located at 201 Woodland St., approximately 100 yards from LP Field. The UK pep band and cheerleaders will make an appearance.

Admission is $8 for UK Alumni Association members who preregister, $10 for nonmembers and event walk-ups, and free for children 12 and under with a paying adult. Specials will be available and free UK items and door prizes will be given away at the event. Reservations can be made at www.ukalumni.net/2011tailgatetour.

This event is hosted by the Greater Nashville UK Alumni Club. For questions about the event, contact Jill Smith at jhsmith@uky.edu, 859-257-8906 or 1-800-269-ALUM.

Fans Encouraged to Donate Blood in “Battle of the Bluegrass”: The Battle of the Bluegrass isn’t just played on the football field. It’s a blood battle between the Cats and the Cards, too.

Kentucky Blood Center’s annual Battle of the Bluegrass runs Aug. 22 through Sept. 2. Donors can give blood and vote for their favorite team – the UK Wildcats or the U of L Cardinals.