Comments from Tuesday’s post-practice news conference from offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm, senior offensive lineman Luis Polanco, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Forrest Lamp and junior quarterback Brandon Doughty.
Offense vs UK: “I think as a team, definitely as an offense, we came out, we had great effort. We were prepared, we played hard, we finished plays and we believe in ourselves. I think that’s the key to it.
“We started off well, then had a few struggles there in the third quarter, but I think our guys played hard, they gave great effort and that’s what’s gonna win us games.”
Playbook: “We gotta make sure our guys know exactly what they’re doing. We do have some young guys playing, then everyone else is really a first-year guy. There’s always things we’re gonna tweak, slightly add, but right now we gotta make sure we get the ball in our playmakers’ hands and utilize their talent to win the game.”
Offensive line: “They’re playing hard right now. I think all five guys played the entire game. They gave great effort, like I said before. Our runners ran hard, our receivers played hard, our quarterback was efficient and took care of the ball. So those are things we have to do every week and we have to build on this. Things are gonna get tougher. This is an extremely tough test coming up and we’ve gotta to get ready to play.”
Confidence: “I think our guys have some confidence now that they can go play when they want to. Right now it’s about refocusing, realizing that every week’s a new week. This is great challenge, we’ve got to work even harder this week. We’ve got to push even harder.
“We’ve got to make practice as hard as we can because that’s really the key to winning for us – is really pushing our guys in practice, making it just like a game where they’re tested and ready to go come gameday.”
UT defense: “They got a new scheme, a new defense. I’m sure they’re re-energized with the new coaching staff and coming off a win really helped – held (Austin Peay) scoreless.
“They’ve got good size, they’ve got good players – we’ve got to find a few weaknesses, attack it and be aggressive. I think that’s the key is doing the things that we do well, getting it in the playmakers’ hands, being aggressive and playing with great effort.”
Offensive line play: “I was very well pleased, man. We’ve been working really hard since the spring, all camp, our first week of practice our focus was to become a team, to come together. I feel like we all did that.
“Like coach Petrino was saying, we won that game because we all bonded together.”
Playing against an SEC front: “That never goes into our head. Our opponent is like another man. When we go on the field, we feel like they can beat us, we can beat them. It’s all about getting preparation. My mentality when I’m getting ready is not, ‘Oh my God, I’m gonna get beat.’ It’s, ‘I’m going to work to get better so I can beat him.’
“It’s a great feeling, going against SEC schools, because it allows us to show the people what Western Kentucky’s all about.”
2009 game: “I was redshirted and I was here at home. I watched the whole thing on TV. Like I tell people around school, ‘I’ve been waiting for this game.’ I’m excited to go down to Tennessee and go down there and compete and hopefully come out on top.”
Playing against an SEC front: “Our mentality is just to work harder. To improve in the little things that we did on Saturday and capitalize this week coming up and just try and do a much better job to improve on our technique and stuff.
“These guys are a little bigger, but size doesn’t matter.”
Running backs: “It’s great. It’s a great feeling. Antonio Andrews, Leon, Keyshawn – they all ran well this past weekend and I’m excited to keep blocking for them.”
Sacks: “We’re not proud of it. It’s something that we have to learn from, it’s something that we have to emphasize every week. We have to keep our quarterback clean, that’s our job as an offensive line.”
New guy up front: “It’s really good. It helps in the game that they’ve all played before, since it was my first start. I really look up to them and they help me out a lot.”
Nervous? “A little bit, just because it was my first start. But like I said, the older guys helped out.”
Running backs: “It’s awesome. I played against Leon Allen in high school and we’re from the same area, so it’s pretty cool blocking for him.”
UT’s defense: “Just hopefully we open up the run game a little bit to help open the pass game. The defensive tackle for Tennessee is a lot bigger than the defensive tackle I went against from Kentucky.”
Offensive line: “Those guys are awesome, man. Those guys are workhorses, they’re go-to guys. They’re very experienced and it showed on Saturday. I felt really comfortable with those guys, I didn’t get hit but probably three or four times. For my first start, it made me feel really, really comfortable.”
UT defense: “I’ve actually got into it a lot. They do a lot of things well. They’re a really, really good-coached team, they fly to the ball and they have a really good front seven and the corners are getting more and more experience as the days go on. I’m excited to see how we respond and I’ll dip into even more this week.”
One game in: “It’s a lot of confidence, man. Those guys are out there making plays for me making me look good. Those guys, the offensive line, like I said, gave me a lot of time.
“The confidence in me is building, but we still gotta work every single day at it and grind. It’s a true grind.”
Crowd Saturday vs. Tennessee crowd: “Last week was awesome. Our fans we’re unbelievable. Even the guys in the locker room, when we first went out there in pregame, the team was getting in there and the fans started getting rowdy, guys were like, ‘This is cool. I’ve never seen Tops fans like this.’ They were crazy the entire game. I was really excited about that.
“But a hundred and six (thousand at UT) is a lot of guys. We’ll see how we react. You can’t worry about that in a game, you got so many other things to worry about – your schemes, your protections, are you good, are you not hot? That crowd stuff, that really doesn’t affect me too much.”