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Phillips, Wildcats Anxious to Return to Commonwealth

Kentucky to face Jacksonville State on Saturday at Noon ET


LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky football team has worked hard in practice the past two weeks to take full advantage of its bye week and now head coach Joker Phillips said his Wildcats are anxious to get back on the playing field.
“Two weeks ago, we talked about needing an open date and that we were looking forward to it,” Phillips said. “Now, after the two weeks, we are ready to play and we are looking forward to playing. We need to get back out on the field and we are looking forward to Saturday.
“We will see if we are ready to play, but we are anxious to play and get back on the field in front of our fans, who we have been away from the past few weeks. We are anxious to get out there.”
Phillips said after practice Thursday that the team’s goal during the bye week has been to improve each day.
 “We feel like we have gotten better,” Phillips said.  “We have put a lot of emphasis in special teams’ areas and put a lot of emphasis on throwing and catching. We hope to see those things show up.”
Phillips noted the continued progress of junior defensive end Collins Ukwu, who has missed the last three games because of injury.  Phillips said Ukwu went through more reps in practice Thursday, including team drills.
“It is not a question, he definitely will play,” Phillips said about Ukwu. “He got even more reps today in a team setting. Yesterday was more individual, today was more in a team setting. He is available. Will he play? I am not for sure or that, yet, but he is available to play.”
Former Wildcat Artose Pinner to Greet Fans at Keeneland: Former University of Kentucky football great Artose Pinner will be on hand to sign autographs and help celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Keeneland at Seeblue Day on Friday, Oct. 21, at Keeneland Race Course.

General admission into Keeneland will be free to UK students, faculty and staff who show a valid UK ID, while UK Alumni Association members will also be give free admission. The first 200 UK Alumni Association members who show their membership card at the UK Alumni Association table outside the gift shop will receive a free gift.

Fans can purchase a commemorative UK/Keeneland 75th Anniversary hat and have it signed by Pinner along with other memorabilia. Proceeds will benefit DanceBlue.

The event is part of Homecoming Week for the Kentucky football team. For complete details for Homecoming 2011, visit www.ukhomecoming.com.

Pinner was a four-year letterwinner at running back for the Wildcats from 1999-2002. Pinner had an incredible senior season in 2002, when he rushed 283 times for 1,414 yards – second-highest total in a single season in school history – and 13 touchdowns. Pinner currently ranks seventh all-time on Kentucky’s career rushing list with 2,105 yards and 17 touchdowns. The native of Hopkinsville, Ky., earned 224 rushing yards against Vanderbilt in 2002, which is the sixth-most rushing yards by one player in one game in school history.

Pinner played five years in the National Football League with the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons.



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