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August 25, 2014

Notes: Miller suspended for season opener

One of Kentucky's most dependable football players will miss the Wildcats' season opener.

Senior Darrian Miller, a two-year starter at left tackle, will miss Saturday's noon game against Tennessee-Martin, coach Mark Stoops said Monday, due to an unspecified violation of team rules.

"It happened some time ago," Stoops said at his first weekly news conference of the season Monday at Commonwealth Stadium. "We've addressed the situation. He's done what he needed to do. He'll be back in good standing after one game."

Junior Jordan Swindle will move from right tackle to left tackle for Saturday's game. Redshirt freshman Kyle Meadows will start at right tackle.

At least three other players will miss Saturday's game. Wide receiver Rashad Cunningham also will serve a one-game suspension, and receivers Jeff Badet (eye injury) and Alex Montgomery, who still is recovering from last year's season-ending knee surgery, are out.

Another receiver is returning to game action. Senior Demarco Robinson, suspended for the final two games of last season, will play against the Skyhawks.

"He met the obligations he needed to," Stoops said. "He's back in good standing and will be back in game one. "

Dupree Alignment
The Wildcats' first depth chart of the season had some surprises beyond Miller's suspension. One of the quirks was the inclusion of senior Bud Dupree -- a projected starter at defensive end -- as a strongside linebacker.

Dupree still will see plenty of reps at defensive end -- "Depends on the personnel (opponents) start with," Stoops said -- but moving Dupree helps Kentucky get its best players on the field. When Dupree is at linebacker, sophomore Jason Hatcher can be in the game at defensive end.

"That's going to be a big part of it," Stoops said. "We wanted to get Jason on the field a year ago. He went through some good growing pains. He's getting better. He's a good football player. That is part of it, to get him on the field."

Home Sweet Home
Kentucky's season opener on Saturday will be its first at Commonwealth Stadium since a 2007 win against Eastern Kentucky.

Over the past six years, the Cats have opened the season three times at Louisville, twice in Nashville against Western Kentucky and once in Cincinnati against Miami of Ohio.

Stoops said there's "definitely" an advantage in opening at home with a team that figures to play a significant number of youngsters. UK's two-deep depth chart released Monday, includes eight true freshmen, and all but backup quarterback Drew Barker could see playing time.

"Just playing at home in the opener is exciting to me," Stoops said. "I know our fans are ready to go. We need to do our part. I know we'll have great support. We need to go out there and start fast and play good football, play with great energy, play with great discipline, make it exciting for the fans."

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