"The senior season really goes fast, but we have a lot of ahead of us and a lot riding on these last two games. It is our job as seniors to let the young guys know how much these games mean," Duncan said.
Beating Tennessee and then winning a fourth straight bowl game would give UK nine wins, more than any other team he played on at Kentucky has won. Beating Tennessee would also give UK a second-place finish in the SEC Eastern Division, a worthy accomplishment and part of the dream coach Rich Brooks sold Duncan on when he picked UK over other schools after his prep career in Elizabethown, Ky.
"A lot of guys came here just wanting to win. Coach Brooks sold me on the vision that we would be a program to compete and go to bowl games. To be part of that and see the tradition continue, I am very proud," Duncan, UK's starting offensive tackle, said. "It doesn't always work out the way you think. I thought I would be a tight end, but I feel blessed to have the opportunity to play here and start a winning tradition.
"I believed coach Brooks. He was sold on recruiting guys that won in high school and he told us if we came in and worked hard, we would have an opportunity compete in the SEC and go to bowl games. We probably did have some doubts, but we came out and worked hard from the start and put ourselves in position to do good things."
"But you also remember turning around the nature of the program. The big thing is the friendship. You have 100 brothers out here on the team and you are going to remember them and the good and bad times, the practices, the camps, the fights. But just the brotherhood is what you will miss the most," he said.
He will leave, though, knowing the program is much better than when he arrived.
"I think it is night and day. I think anytime you can get to where the program is expected to win and go to bowl games and compete every game from where it was, it has come light years. I feel like this is a great place with a great foundation and the only way it can go is up," Duncan said. "I feel confident in these guys behind us and that the coaches are going to keep getting guys to improve and play well and keep going what we have started."