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UK receiver Aaron Boyd scores a TD against Kent State. (Victoria Graff photo)

UK receiver Aaron Boyd scores a TD against Kent State. (Victoria Graff photo)

By Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo

Pat Washington is no stranger of creating and making opportunities happen in the SEC. Plain and simple his attitude is to make sure that the Cats seize the day and make the most of every opportunity. Most of all make each play proactive so it  will make the difference in the play style.

Washington does not claim to be a miracle worker in turning a famine into a feast for his players but he manages to ignite the talents of young and veteran players to start fresh and stay that way day in and day it. He knows what it takes to get a team to make it through the long haul of the SEC gauntlet and that’s exactly what we are seeing in the change of a much improved Cats offense.

Here’s what Coach Washington is doing to face the Hilltoppers in the last non-conference game of the year before the Cats head to the Swamp for Florida in SEC play.

This up-tempo offense for the Cats really seems to be flourishing what are you doing with the receiving core to help rotate some guys in to keep producing and executing?
“The toughest thing is to make sure the guys are fresh. You want to play fast and sometimes it’s hard to rotate the receivers to get them in the game to make sure everything is good and fresh. We just find a way.”

Even though Western went scoreless against Alabama their defense proved to play very well. What are you doing with the receivers to help capitalize on that and to make sure that they don’t start the pass rush and don’t allow for the receivers to break out into the backfield?
“I’ll tell you what they’re really good. Western Kentucky is a really good football team. They are really good defensively and in the secondary. They play a lot of man coverage and mix up their coverage really well. What we’ve got to do and it’s a thing we have talked about from the beginning is to try to stay consistent in doing what we do. Make sure we’re at the right place at the right time when Max or whomever the QB may be expects us to be. If we do that I think we’ll be fine. It’s going to be a challenge because their good upfront, they can put pressure on the QB so our timing is going to be really crucial this week.”

It’s no question that Aaron Boyd has talent but it has been dormant for some time. How does it feel to see him re-ignite that talent and capitalize and perform as a coach?
“I am happy for him because he deserves it. It is not necessarily what I have done it’s what he’s done. He’s put forth the effort and understood that he had opportunity when I arrived here that any receiver could play no matter what you’ve done in the past. So the past was over and he let it go and decided he was going to work for the future.”

Is there anything in preparation that you focusing in on for Western and going into Florida on the road?
“Not really thinking of Florida to be honest with you. For Western Kentucky we’ve got to make sure we make the plays available to us. We think we are going to have some things that are going to happen in the game and we’re going to have opportunities in the game. So we’re working extremely hard that if those opportunities show up we take full advantage of it.”

T.Boone Pickens knows all about ceasing opportunity, “Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome. You must be willing to fire.”

The Cats need to come out like a blazing ring of fire and ready to take on Western full force let’s see if  the rest of the coaches and players can make the “Washington Way,” the winning formula for the Cats.

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