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October 25, 2011A black cat is said to bring bad luck, and that's exactly what the Kentucky football team wants to bestow upon Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State on Saturday night.
On Tuesday the Wildcats unveiled the new black uniforms they will be wear on Saturday night against the Bulldogs - the first time UK will have ever worn black jerseys in a game.
"It's something we wanted to do to, throw the guys a bone, and we pulled them out today at the team meeting and had Danny Trevathan and Winston Guy come out dressed in them, and the crowd goes wild," coach Joker Phillips said after Tuesday morning's practice.
In July, UK unveiled their new blue and white uniforms, which feature a checkered pattern on the shoulders. At the public unveiling of those jerseys, Phillips hinted at a possible black edition, but he waited nearly four months to let the black-clad Cats out of the bag.
"We wanted to do it earlier (this season), but heat was a factor in the first part of the season and we wanted to do it in an SEC game," Phillips said. " (This week) we're playing at night in an SEC game and it will be a little bit cooler, so I think this is the time."
The jerseys are black with white lettering and white numbers with a blue trim. The sleeves still have the blue checkerboard that can be found on the regular home and away jerseys. The pants are black with blue checkered stripes like the regular uniforms, but instead of a white center stripe, it's black.
The coaches surprised the team by having Trevathan and Guy enter their team meeting in the new jerseys.
"(When they came out in the black jerseys) we all got excited, everyone stood up and started clapping and yelling and stuff, but it was a bigger shocker for us," running back CoShik Williams said. "We thought we were coming in for regular meeting, but they shocked us with the black jerseys. We're hyped up."
UK will break out the uniforms two days before Halloween, and Guy is ready to dress up.
"We just got to go out there and play like monsters in these black uniforms," he said. "That's why people get black uni's, to play like monsters. If you want to play like a monster you got to look like one."
The Cats hope the new look on the field will help off the field, drawing the attention of recruits.
"Recruits love it," passing game coordinator Tee Martin said. I was waiting on the marketing department and everybody to release the story so I could retweet it and send out Facebook messages about it. But I had been teasing recruits about the possibility that it might happen, and now that they have evidence they'll get a chance to see how it looks and they'll want to wear these colors."
Some of UK's committed prospects for the 2012 recruiting class posted on Twitter on Tuesday that they approved of the black uniforms.
"Look at the hype Oregon has gotten and what Maryland is doing with their uniforms, what a lot of teams in our league are doing with their uniforms," Martin said. "If you look at the business side of thing and look at excitement and players having another option in their dress, for recruiting that's big.
"... Recruits think it's cool; they think it's new. It's something different than what you've been doing."
But Phillips was quick to say the black uniforms could get blacklisted if the Cats don't generate a victory.
"They know that, but we'll have to let them know for sure," Phillips said. "If they don't play well they won't see (the black jerseys) again."