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  • Wildcats stay united while becoming bowl eligible

    By LARRY VAUGHT

    Not only did Kentucky get a rare win over Tennessee Saturday in dramatic fashion, but the Cats also got a sixth win to assure that they are bowl eligible with four games remaining to be played.

    "I heard a couple players as we were just celebrating talking in there talking about, hey, we're going bowling, and we didn't even really address it because we felt hopefully we have moved beyond that and we don't take anything for granted but we know we need to win six plus and I don't know, to be honest with you," Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said after the 29-26 win.

    "I think last year when we got the sixth win and we went and played on the road (against Louisville) and the last game I think it freed us up a bit, so I hope we want more than that, we want to take them all one game at a time but I hope our mindset stay that is we want to go get the next one and we'll worry about the one after that after next week."

    During his postgame radio show, Stoops got a call from former coach Rich Brooks. He was at UK this weekend along with players from teams that won bowl games from 2006-2008. However, Brooks went 0-for-7 against Tennessee and Stoops knows a win over Tennessee -- even in a down year for the Vols -- is big for Kentuckky.

    "Let's not kid ourselves, we know -- just take a look around, look at our league and look at the pressure that coaches are under and teams and the players feel that and it means a lot. Our players have, we haven't been perfect in any way, coaching or playing, but they haven't flinched and they stay united and it's a very good group and we have got a long way to go," Stoops said.

    "We made a lot of mistakes and all that, but they're a fun group to coach and I think it does mean a lot, especially this weekend, Coach Brooks back here and all the bowl teams and the bowl victors and Coach told me, he's like, get this one. He said, I was never able to get Tennessee and it was important for him for us to get that and to win and for all the ex-players that are here and build our tradition and it's important to me and these players.

    "We're very prideful when they came back and Coach Brooks talked to the team and Randall Cobb came and talked to the team and seeing Wesley (Woodyard) here and I saw Avery (Williamson) earlier today and just all the players that are back, it means a lot and we want to keep on winning and we do it for them as much as the fans and everybody else in the program.
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