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Billy Joe Murphy isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t backing down from top-ranked LSU.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What an opportunity we have to go in and play the No. 1 team in the country at their place,Ã¢â‚¬Â Murphy said earlier this week. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the way weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to approach it. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to put Florida behind us and learn from it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Kentucky senior was a redshirt freshman when the Wildcats stunned the top-ranked Tigers 43-37 in triple overtime four years ago at Commonwealth Stadium. The loss was the only setback that season for LSU, which went on to win the national championship.
Like the previous meeting between the two schools, Murphy sees the game as an opportunity to turn things around for the Cats, who have lost their past two games after opening the season with a two-game winning streak. Murphy isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worried about the crowd or playing at Death Valley for the first time.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re playing on a field,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to focus even more on the road what your assignment is and doing that assignment.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Murphy admitted that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tough to bounce back following a 48-10 drubbing to Florida, but added a Ã¢â‚¬Å“bigger challenge,Ã¢â‚¬Â should motivate the Wildcats to reverse the current two-game slide.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If you dwell on games from the past, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to kill yourself,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We know we want to have a great season, but if you dwell on the past, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to shoot yourself in the foot even more.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Murphy returned to the lineup last week after missing the two previous games because of a knee injury. Murphy, a right tackle, said sitting out the teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s win over Central Michigan and the loss to Louisville was Ã¢â‚¬Å“frustrating.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It feels good to get back, considering I had never missed game before (because of an injury),Ã¢â‚¬Â Murphy said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have played three sports and never missed a game. You stay away from your technique and development for two weeks and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard (to bounce back) considering that, but you want to come back so bad. The drive is up and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s easy to work hard (and come back).Ã¢â‚¬Â
For the first time this season, the teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s starting offensive line was on the field. Murphy said the lineÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top priority is protecting quarterback Morgan Newton. The senior lineman said Ã¢â‚¬Å“mental mistakesÃ¢â‚¬Â are preventing the offense from reaching its full potential.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If you watch the film from our standpoint, we see mental mistake after mental mistake,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“For example, if you see Morgan Newton throw an interception, not every interception is MorganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fault. It could be someone elseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mental mistake that cause it. What we know is that those mistakes are correctable and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to get those corrected. Our mental mistakes are whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s killing us.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Murphy said the Tigers are Ã¢â‚¬Å“very powerfulÃ¢â‚¬Â and compete at a flawless level.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t (make) as many mistakes like we do,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to be mentally sound, technique sound and stick to our basics. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to correct our mental mistakes and move forward.Ã¢â‚¬Â