Wesley Woodyard has always been an emotional player. That's one reason he's been a productive player since he arrived at Kentucky from LaGrange, Ga. However, last week against Mississippi, he was even more emotional than usual.
He was applauding teammates for big plays and chastising them for mistakes. He was waving to the crowd to make even more noise at crucial times. He even had a few "friendly" words for some of the Ole Miss players.
"I was excited to be playing. There was just something about that game," Woodyard said. "My mom did not get a chance to come up. I had to go out and play for her and make sure we got a win. I felt like I had to be hyped every play and get the crowd behind us.
"We have to have good fan support to turn this program around. If we get that support and get louds fans in the stands, it makes it hard for opposing teams to come in and get a win. And we all knew what beating Mississippi could mean for our season. So I didn't necessarily try to be more emotional, but I didn't fight it, either."
Woodyard knew Kentucky was not ready to play the first snap at Louisville. He doesn't want to see the team lack that focus again this year, especially against a team as talented as Florida.
"This is a big game this week at Florida. We have a chance to do something that has not been done in a long time — beat Florida. I know they are good, but I feel like if we go out and play hard, everybody is beatable. We just have to make the least mistakes possible and play with emotion and heart," Woodyard said.
Coach Rich Brooks said his team's heart and passion impressed him more than anything during the win over Mississippi. Woodyard wants to make sure Brooks and UK fans see plenty more of that.
"We've talked about being a better team and being a closer team. Now it's time to show it. You can't back down in a game at Florida. We have to be aggressive and emotional. If we can do that, we can play. We can't get intimidated. We learned things in that first game that will help us and I know I'm going to do everything I can again to make sure we are hyped," Woodyard said. "The Swamp is crazy. We will only have a little section of fans, but I will do all I can to get them behind us. And they will get up if we play the way we should."
Woodyard counting on emotion
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