Friday, 30 September 2011 15:04

Kentucky’s Phillips Hopes For Repeat Win In LSU’s Death Valley, No Joker

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Joker Phillips has fond memories of  Tiger Stadium or commonly known as “Death Valley”.   When he was a wide receiver at Kentucky coach Jerry Claiborne's 1983 Wildcats traveled to Baton Rouge and had lost seven straight SEC games. LSU had a 10-7 halftime lead until quarterback Randy Jenkins hit Phillips with touchdown passes of 6 and `12 yards. Kentucky's defense made it stand up for a 21-13 victory.

None of Kentucky's football players have ever played in Tiger Stadium.

So Wildcats coach Phillips has been trying to prepare his players for Saturday's visit to a place that has earned a rowdy reputation through decades of loud crowds and home dominance.

That's why Wildcats coaches had a speaker system strapped to the back of a utility vehicle during Wednesday's practice. It blasted recording of crowd noises.  Wildcats quarterback Morgan Newton and the offense tried to communicate.

Newton said after the practice that his throat hurt from screaming and his head hurt from the constant, intense noise.

Phillips said UK will, as it did against Florida last week, operate frequently without huddling, communicating plays to each other with hand signals.

UK ranks 103rd in total offense out  of 120 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Both Vanderbilt and Ole Miss have fewer yards. LSU is giving up fewer than two yards per carry and ranks fourth the nation in run defense.

Phillips said that Josh Clemons practiced and should be ready to play on Saturday. The freshman running back has been bothered by an injury .

The coach said the message to his team was: "Treat Yourself Like A Man." He said it meant that players should be embarrassed by mistakes and missed assignments.

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by Ed Staton and Bayoubuzz Staff

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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