LEMOND: Rafael Little focused on winning

Rafael Little is a man of few words. Against Louisville he let his running do the talking.

Little proved to Kentucky football fans that the Cats "will" have a running game this season. Last year Kentucky was the worst rushing team in the Southeastern Conference and one of the worst rushing teams in the nation. Little is here to make sure that doesn't happen this year.

"I think I can be special," the soft-spoken Little said, "but I want everyone to be special so we can win."

After Tony Dixon broke his ankle during fall camp, Little became the featured back in the UK backfield. He didn't disappoint in Kentucky's season opening loss to Louisville rushing for a career high 71 yards, which included a 51 yard run that is the longest run in the history of the UK/U of L Governor's Cup series.

"Everybody is motivated this year," Little said. "We want to win so bad this year. We don't want to lose no more games after this. We just want to win."

Little admitted that he lost more games last season when Kentucky went 2-9 that he's lost in his "entire life". He said, "That made me want to play harder. I got down a lot, but like every team should be, you're not a loser. You just want to play and win."

The sophomore running back came into the season as Kentucky's leading returning rusher from last year with 265 yards, which is pretty impressive considering he missed most of the early part of the season while recovering from a knee injury. The most impressive stat from last season was his five yard average per carry.

Little said, "We're sick and tired of losing. We lost a lot last year, and it motivated us more this year to work harder and play harder."

UK offensive coordinator Joker Phillips has stated that he wants a 100 yard rusher in every game. Little proved he could be that man in Phillips "new look" offensive attack. "It's going to be a winning football team," Little said. "We're just going to let this (the loss to Louisville) pass, go out and execute in other games now. We gotta let the loss go."

Little's original claim to fame was graduating from T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, South Carolina, the same school which the movie "Radio" was based. He now says he will be one of the guys in the lockerroom to help quarterback Andre Woodson lift his head up and get ready for the rest of the season after Woodson's three fumbles contributed to UK's loss to Louisville.

"He (Andre) has his head down now, but we're going to motivate him more, so he can come out next game, and we can win."

Throughout the interview, Little continually used the word "win". He said, "We showed what we can do. We should have won, but we showed everyone what we can do this year."

It's no secret what Little thinks this team can do - win!

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