By Kent Taylor
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Will Stein will start at quarterback for U of L on Saturday night, but the Trinity grad grew up cheering on the Big Blue.
"Well, actually, my dad played at Kentucky, so growing up I was a big U.K. fan," Stein said. "My mom and dad both went there, so this is definitely special to me, going back to Commonwealth, where I spent a lot of games there. I still know I was in section 128, row 13, I just know that. Obviously now, I'm for them at all, I haven't been, so don't get the wrong impression. I bleed red through and through. It's definitely going to be special. Last time I was there, I was the third string guy, so I kind of just saw it behind the scenes. The whole rivalry is very, very intense. It's something that I've grown up with and I know what it means to win. It's a big game, a big momentum game for us. I think if we go in there and we do what I think we can do, and we win, I think this will catapult us for the rest of the season."
His dad, Matt, played for the Cats under Jerry Claiborne, and was on the last U.K. team to beat Tennessee. Will used to going to Commonwealth Stadium all decked out in blue.
"Oh yeah, I was a Wildcat through and through," Stein told me. "Like I said, my dad played there, so it was just in my blood, we cheered for them and everything. I went to countless football games and basketball games. I definitely loved them, I remember crying after some of their basketball games. It's going to be big going in there, just for me personally. Being a walk-on and being here and just having that chip on my shoulder, to go out there and prove all those people wrong, it's going to be a really fun game."
At just 5-10 and 176 pounds Stein is used to people questioning his size, but after two games in 2011, it's hard to question his stats. he's thrown for 575 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Stein doesn't listen to the doubters. "I know that I've proven myself to this team and this coaching staff, and that's all that really matters to me. Hopefully the whole fan base supports me and supports the decision of the coaches to start me. I don't really worry about that. If I do, I won't play as confident as I normally do, so I just try to block all that out."
Kickoff is set for 7:04 p.m. Saturday night at Commonwealth Stadium.