VAUGHT: Bowl talk may have distracted Cats

Running back Alfonso Smith doesn't like to admit it, but he thinks now that the Wildcats may have worried too much about what bowl they were going to play in rather than concentrating on winning games.

"I do feel at times that we had guys on the team worry too much about the bowls and not enough about the games we were going to play. In the past, Kentucky wouldn't be in a bowl. It is a blessing just to be in a bowl game," Smith said.

"If you win, everything comes to you. You don't have to worry. Worrying too much about bowls can create distractions and maybe make you play too tense. We should have just focused more on winning the game and not what bowl we would be in or what this team is doing or not doing. It just confuses you.

"There are no bad bowls. If you are in the postseason, you are in the postseason. Then if you win, it's even better."

Smith was bitterly disappointed after UK lost at Tennessee Saturday, its third straight loss after a 6-3 start. The offense was limited the final three periods and lacked big plays.

"We are inconsistent offensively. When we get things going, it is kind of hard to stop us. When we get away from what we are doing and guys are jumping offsides and making mistakes, it is kind of hard to be successful and move the ball when you are hurting yourself," Smith said.

Smith says not to worry about UK not being focused on playing in either the Music City Bowl or Liberty Bowl.

"I feel like we can regroup for the bowl. We have a chance to make history and win three straight bowl games," he said.

So what message would Smith have for fans about UK's bowl appearance?

"I would tell them to stay behind us and support us. We are going to come to bowl game prepared to win. It could be a celebration down there maybe in Nashville again. I think we need our fans to come and support us. That is a big thing that we really need right now," Smith said.

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