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August 26, /^pO
The Cats' Pause
Collegiate Spores /A/mni Network
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Editor and Publisher
OSCAR L. COMBS
Associate Editor _MIKE ESTEP_
BRIAN D. TIRPAK
Contributing SEC Columnist
Contributing SEC Columnist
National Basketball Columnist
National Basketball Recruiting
Kentucky Basketball Recruiting
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Published weekly Sept. 9, 1989-April 7, 1990 Published monthly: May 1990-August 1990 Advertising Representative WILDCAT NEWS COMPANY
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STRONG OUTLOOK FOR '90
Veteran linebacker and preseason All-SEC pick Randy Holleran predicts good things await last year's starting quarterback Freddie Maggard (left) and several other 'Cats. In 11 games last year Maggard passed for 1,515 yards, completing 130 of 231 attempts and 12 interceptions. The Cumberland junior is currently competing for the No. 1 spot along with Brad Smth and Ryan Hockman. Kentucky coach Bill Curry also has been impressed with freshmen Pookie Jones and Mike Kinney.
'Cats shift into 'full gear' preparing for opener; team enters camp mentally fit
by TCP associate editor Nick Nicholas
Kentucky faithful have been guaranteed more aerials and excitement to surround their football team as it enters the 1990s under first-year UK coach Bill Curry.
This guarantee comes from a coach who exited a tradition-rich but headache-prone Alabama program for blue-collar UK. Even though it's known as the Bluegrass State, Kentucky may prove greener pastures for Bill Curry's family.
In 10 seasons on the college level, Curry looks to improve an overall winning slate—57-53-4—at Kentucky If that were
to happen, available tickets to Commonwealth Stadium should be scarce. One would have to turn back the calendar to 1977 to remember such a stable seller's market.
"The football atmosphere is incredible in Lexington," Curry, in an interview this past spring, said. "The financial support is here. The facilities are second-to-none for the football players. As we continue to add—the indoor facility, which will be done this year; and expand the stadium, which will be done in about three years—it will be unbelievable. And that is the kind of commitment you have to have to be contenders for the conference championship."
Curry welcomes 12 returning starters, including linebacker Randy Holleran. The senior standout, Wildcat fans will recall, was sidelined for his entire junior season after injuring his right knee in two-a-day practices last fall. Overall, 32 lettermen have reported for fall workouts.
That number would have been 34, but starting offensive guard Mike Nord and reserve fullback Rodney Shepard were kicked off the squad for violating team rules. And most recently, tailback Eric Carter quit the squad for personal reasons.
Nevertheless, Kentucky football, today, moves on.
"I would not like to be a senior on the 1990 Kentucky team," Curry said, "and have the head coach running around saying, 'Well, in a couple of years we'll have this thing together.' I would not like that.
"I expect to have 11 out there Sept. 1 who know how to win for four quarters. If I find we fall a little short of that then we'll be ready Sept. 8, Sept. 15 and right on through the schedule and for as long as we breathe. We don't put a time frame on it.
"We do give ourselves deadlines. And our first deadline is Sept. 1."
Following contains notes and quotes about the upcoming Wildcat football season.
SMART 'CATS Bill Curry pointed out to the media a couple of weeks ago that not only was he impressed with the players' physical condition but their mental state, too.
"This team has excellent concentration," Curry noted. "This team listens. I told them last night that I was real proud with the way they showed up."
Will, or better yet, can these players, knowing what's eluded them and the UK program in the past, believe winning days are around the bend?
First telling sign is at Rutgers, Sept. 8, UK's first encounter away from Commonwealth Stadium.
On the road again is not a popular tune with the Big Blue. Kentucky owns only two victories in the last five seasons (Cincinnati, Vanderbilt) on foreign turf.
Curry was asked if he could describe to his new pupils the positive attitude Alabama players seemingly always possess.
"You bet," he answered, "I can tell 'em because I've been in both situations, off and on all my life. I've been privileged to play on some of the greatest teams that have ever played. I've been privileged to be a part of building a college program (Georgia Tech) from a very negative mind set to a very positive mind set. I've been a part of going to one that already had very positive mind set, but with a lot of distraction.
"So we're seeing a lot of different scenarios. We have described very carefully to the players what's going in. We don't expect to just lead them around like sheep. They're human beings and they are bright."
Count preseason All-SEC linebacker Ran-
dy Holleran a "Curry Believer."
"Everybody can't wait to get out there for that first game," Holleran said. "That's what they (UK staff) talk about, winning...being a winner...knowing what it takes to be a winner.
"When you hear that every day you start believing. And when you start believing it, you start being that winner. You start working hard. That's what it's all about."
SPEAKING OF BAMA Curry predicts good things this season for new coach Gene Stallings and the Crimson Tide.
"I told the (Alabama) players the last time I met with them, 'Men, selfishly, I want to stay here with you. This team is going back to the Sugar Bowl. But it would be a very selfish thing for me to do. The only unselfish thing I can do is to remove myself from this in hopes that you can have a normal life. You have been incredible. I will always love you and I will always remember what you did, especially the season of '89, to be champions in the midst of that environment.'"
So don't blame this coach if he sneaks a peek at Sunday's box scores to see how the Tide faired..
"Those guys," Curry says before pausing briefly, "...I have a heart invested in them. The soul, everything else. I figured with a calculator, that in a three-hour period at this job I work about 10,000 hours. So if you've got 10,000 hours of your heart into something, I don't care how goofy you are or what you are, that means that it means something to you. Otherwise, you wouldn't put that many hours into it.
"That's what I've got invested in those guys."
SUPPORT, TO BOOT Former NFL standout placekicker Jan Stenerud, best remembered for his days with the Kansas City Chiefs, recently was in the Wildcat camp to give a few pointers to UK's kickers.
"I'm just trying to look at each one and see what I can do to make each a little bit better," Stenerud said, "as far as technique is concerned and ways they can get more efficient. We did not have a kicking contest.
"I'm just here to look at them and give them some input, tricks of the trade I call
Please see, NOTES, page 23