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ukvswkulogoBy LARRY VAUGHT

He’s no longer quite the same brash personality off the field that he was his first two years at Kentucky, but junior defensive end Bud Dupree says his style on the field won’t change.

“Once you get older and the game slows down, you start to get more confident in yourself. I see my team at practice every day and I am just very confident we can do good things this year. I just want to make sure we work hard and things will happen,” said Dupree, a preseason all-Southeastern Conference pick. “I won’t change at all on the field. I will be emotional. Hopefully the whole defense will be more emotional than we have been in the past. Just step it up a little bit. Step it up on the swagger like coach (Mark) Stoops wants.”

Dupree says the coaches all want more “swag” from the Wildcats going into Saturday’s season-opening game against Western Kentucky in Nashville.

“The offensive coaches tell you that you need to have swag on defense. The defensive coaches will tell you that you need to have it on offense. We are just working to make sure whole team is on that level together,” Dupree said.

Kentucky didn’t have much “swag” last year when Western won in overtime at Commonwealth Stadium and the Cats finished 2-10. That got coach Joker Phillips fired and brought Stoops and a new staff to UK.

“My confidence was at an all-time low. We are a SEC team and only won two games. We are part of the best conference in the nation and people were sending things at us like, ‘You need to leave the SEC.’ People were calling and saying we sucked,” Dupree said. “It was everywhere. Not just our fans, but people back at home wanted to know how did we lose to Western Kentucky. As a  SEC school, that was not supposed to happen.

“We just have got to go out here and win. We need to prove everyone wrong. Not just our fans in Kentucky, but people all around the world. Everybody remembers what happened last year. The freshman and junior college transfers, we tell them. We try not to forget and make that part of our motivation for this game.”

Dupree, and the UK coaches, are not exactly sure what to expect from Western and new coach Bobby Petrino, who is 8-0 in opening games as a head coach at Louisville and Arkansas. He’s 4-0 in opening games against UK.

Dupree said the players have studied game tape of Western from last year as well as Arkansas when Petrino was there. He says Arkansas used “different ways to move the linemen” and had different blocking schemes.

“It is a little bit different than other teams. The tight ends try to go out and block the linebackers and get offensive linemen to the next level quicker. We have to be great with our hands and feet to make sure we free our linebackers up,” Dupree said. “We are trying to remember what they did last year, too. We know they are not going too far from what Arkansas did, but they won’t just forget last year, either. We have to be prepared for both.

“It helps us a lot knowing he (Petrino) does some of the similar things that our offense does. We are well prepared for the game. I am ready to play. I wish it was tomorrow. We did lot of hard work this summer and we are ready to play now.”

Western’s offense is led by senior running back Antonio Andrews. He led Western in all-purpose yards (3,161), rushing yards (1,728), touchdowns (15), scoring (90 points) and kick return yards (767). The only other player to accumulate more all-purpose yards in one season has been 1988 Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders.

“I’m sure they’ll lean heavily on the running back. He’s a fantastic player, Antonio Andrews, and just a great player. So he’s somebody that we got to keep an eye on,” Stoops said.

Junior Brandon Doughty will be Western’s new starting quarterback.

“He had a good camp and a good spring,” Petrino said. “He’s a young man that is very, very coachable and really understands what we’re striving for. He does a nice job of getting the ball out. He’s an accurate thrower and he’s a done a nice job on his leadership.”

Kentucky defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot says his concentration “has been on the Kentucky defense and how we play” and not who is Western’s quarterback or playmakers.

“I don’t know a whole lot (about Doughty). Don’t have a lot of film on him from last year. Just what I’ve heard about him,” Eliot said. “I’ve read that he’s done well in certain scrimmages, he’s had some good days and some bad days and that they’ve most recently just named him the starter.”

Eliot says going against UK quarterbacks Max Smith and Jalen Whitlow in practice should have his defense ready for Saturday.

“We have seen an athletic quarterback in practice with Jalen and then we’ll be prepared if they decide to go that direction,” Eliot said.

He’s no longer quite the same brash personality off the field that he was his first two years at Kentucky, but junior defensive end Bud Dupree says his style on the field won’t change.

“Once you get older and the game slows down, you start to get more confident in yourself. I see my team at practice every day and I am just very confident we can do good things this year. I just want to make sure we work hard and things will happen,” said Dupree, a preseason all-Southeastern Conference pick. “I won’t change at all on the field. I will be emotional. Hopefully the whole defense will be more emotional than we have been in the past. Just step it up a little bit. Step it up on the swagger like coach (Mark) Stoops wants.”

Dupree says the coaches all want more “swag” from the Wildcats going into Saturday’s season-opening game against Western Kentucky in Nashville.

“The offensive coaches tell you that you need to have swag on defense. The defensive coaches will tell you that you need to have it on offense. We are just working to make sure whole team is on that level together,” Dupree said.

Kentucky didn’t have much “swag” last year when Western won in overtime at Commonwealth Stadium and the Cats finished 2-10. That got coach Joker Phillips fired and brought Stoops and a new staff to UK.

“My confidence was at an all-time low. We are a SEC team and only won two games. We are part of the best conference in the nation and people were sending things at us like, ‘You need to leave the SEC.’ People were calling and saying we sucked,” Dupree said. “It was everywhere. Not just our fans, but people back at home wanted to know how did we lose to Western Kentucky. As a  SEC school, that was not supposed to happen.

“We just have got to go out here and win. We need to prove everyone wrong. Not just our fans in Kentucky, but people all around the world. Everybody remembers what happened last year. The freshman and junior college transfers, we tell them. We try not to forget and make that part of our motivation for this game.”

Dupree, and the UK coaches, are not exactly sure what to expect from Western and new coach Bobby Petrino, who is 8-0 in opening games as a head coach at Louisville and Arkansas. He’s 4-0 in opening games against UK.

Dupree said the players have studied game tape of Western from last year as well as Arkansas when Petrino was there. He says Arkansas used “different ways to move the linemen” and had different blocking schemes.

“It is a little bit different than other teams. The tight ends try to go out and block the linebackers and get offensive linemen to the next level quicker. We have to be great with our hands and feet to make sure we free our linebackers up,” Dupree said. “We are trying to remember what they did last year, too. We know they are not going too far from what Arkansas did, but they won’t just forget last year, either. We have to be prepared for both.

“It helps us a lot knowing he (Petrino) does some of the similar things that our offense does. We are well prepared for the game. I am ready to play. I wish it was tomorrow. We did lot of hard work this summer and we are ready to play now.”

Western’s offense is led by senior running back Antonio Andrews. He led Western in all-purpose yards (3,161), rushing yards (1,728), touchdowns (15), scoring (90 points) and kick return yards (767). The only other player to accumulate more all-purpose yards in one season has been 1988 Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders.

“I’m sure they’ll lean heavily on the running back. He’s a fantastic player, Antonio Andrews, and just a great player. So he’s somebody that we got to keep an eye on,” Stoops said.

Junior Brandon Doughty will be Western’s new starting quarterback.

“He had a good camp and a good spring,” Petrino said. “He’s a young man that is very, very coachable and really understands what we’re striving for. He does a nice job of getting the ball out. He’s an accurate thrower and he’s a done a nice job on his leadership.”

Kentucky defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot says his concentration “has been on the Kentucky defense and how we play” and not who is Western’s quarterback or playmakers.

“I don’t know a whole lot (about Doughty). Don’t have a lot of film on him from last year. Just what I’ve heard about him,” Eliot said. “I’ve read that he’s done well in certain scrimmages, he’s had some good days and some bad days and that they’ve most recently just named him the starter.”

Eliot says going against UK quarterbacks Max Smith and Jalen Whitlow in practice should have his defense ready for Saturday.

“We have seen an athletic quarterback in practice with Jalen and then we’ll be prepared if they decide to go that direction,” Eliot said.

Dupree said he has a “good vibe” about the game and knows the players want to make Stoops’ debut a success.

“We are going to try and make this game for coach Stoops and all the things he has done for us throughout camp and since he has been here to change this program around,” Dupree said. “We definitely want to make sure we win the game for him as well as the fans and ourselves as well.

“We have to show everyone that we have been working hard and we have changed and we are a new team. We just got to go out there and prove everyone wrong and keep the expectations high for coach Stoops. We have to make sure those guys (fans) that come to the game see what they want to see, and that’s a win so that they will keep coming back.”

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