It’s always hard for a football team to open their season with arguably the biggest game on their schedule, especially for a team as young as the Wildcats.
It would almost be expected for many of the players to lose focus after playing in a game as emotionally and mentally draining as the UK-UofL game is, but the Cats aren’t buying it.
“It is not really a time to take it easy or take a day off,” said junior linebacker Danny Trevathan. “The season is a long road. We have eleven games left, so we need to take care of these eleven games.”
Not only will the Cats be approaching their game against Western Kentucky with the intent of simply winning, Head Coach Joker Phillips is expecting sixty full minutes of solid football.
“We just got to finish what we’re doing,” Phillps said about their second-half performance last weekend. “We just have to understand how to finish games.”
Although the Wildcats will be heavy favorites entering the game Saturday, they still have a tough task ahead of them.
The Hilltoppers star offensive player, Bobby Rainey, tourched one of the nation’s top run defenses last week when he ran for a career-high 155 yards at Nebraska.
“He’s shifty. He’s a strong guy,” Phillips said of the 5-foot-8 back. “But we just got to wrap him up. We can’t let him get started because he’s got that type of speed.”
Despite the problems that Western poses offensively, the Cats have their own little dynamo blossoming in their own backfield.
“Another thing I like is Moncel Allen,” Coach Phillips said of the junior out of New Orleans. “He did a really good job for us… he’s now convincing himself that he’s a fullback now.”
But the transition from halfback to fullback was not an easy one for Allen.
“(Coach Phillips) said my chances of playing this year were better if I played at fullback and that they could do different things with me,” Allen said of the switch. “…one of the hardest adjustments I have been trying to make, is all the angles and trying to block somebody.””
“Early on, he didn’t buy into it,” said Coach Phillips of his initial conversation with Allen regarding the position switch. “Once we started practicing, he did.”
With all the gameplanning that WKU will have to do for Randall Cobb and the complex passing attack the Cats implement, one thing is for certain—they won’t have to worry about Moncel Allen shrinking.
“I don’t worry about him getting shorter,” said Coach Phillps. “Usually fullbacks worry about hitting their head, going into the shoulder. He’s already there.”