Michael Aitcheson didn't volunteer to come to Tuesday's press conference and explain what went wrong in Kentucky's 59-28 loss to Louisville Sunday. Instead, he was asked to come by UK sports information personnel and gladly accepted.
"I was asked to come, and I came. You know what, I am one of the leaders on this team. I am a fifth-year senior and I am willing to step up whenever we are down. I will be first one to say I could have played better and helped the team more. I am not going to back down. When we are playing well, we want to be praised. When we don't play well, we still have to step up and take responsibility for our actions. It was embarrassing against Louisville. But there's nothing we can do now. It is behind us," Aitcheson said.
Okay. But isn't that easier said than done? "We are doing it. We are working hard for Texas State," Aitcheson said.
He knows UK's intensity was "too low" against Louisville. "I just think we weren't attacking like we are capable of. We can't wait until we are in adverse situations to get going. We have to come out and get going," the senior offensive lineman said. "If getting embarrassed on national television won't get your intensity up, I don't know what will."
Say amen, Big Blue fans. Kentucky was embarrassed and Aitcheson knows it. Yet he won't believe that the team believed its own talk too much going into the game. "When you go into a fight, you never doubt yourself. If you don't believe in yourself, who will? It starts with yourself. Whether we believed in ourselves too much or not is not the question. We got better as a team (from last year). We just didn't take care of what we are supposed to do. We just didn't show it," Aitcheson said.
But is he really this positive or does he just feel like he must say the right things? "You can't crumble under pressure. We opened with a bad one. We have 11 opportunities left. I am personally not about to give up right now. The coaches aren't going to give up. We have some fans out there that will not give up. We have to keep pushing and keep fighting. Everybody knows that. I don't think anybody wants to be embarrassed like that again, but we have to do something about it and that is keep fighting and not backing down from anything," Aitcheson said.
Aitcheson faces responsibility
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