CINCINNATI — While the Cincinnati Bengals had no problem in whipping the Tennessee Titans 33-7 on Sunday, a couple of inside linebackers from Kentucky shone in defeat.
Wesley Woodyard led the Titans with nine tackles (five solos, four assists).
Avery Williamson, trying to crack the rotation, saw his regular-snap duty increase and he responded with four tackles (two solo, two assists).
"We got beat. We didn't come out and we didn't do anything that we should have did on the football field," said Woodyard, a team captain. "And against a good team like those guys you've got to be on your P's and Q's every play. The thing about it is we've got to come back to work Monday and be ready to get over this game and get better."
Woodyard, an undrafted free agent out of college, played six seasons for the Denver Broncos before coming to the Titans this year as a free agent.
"At first it was a little bit shaky. I didn't really understand or got the picture of why I was here, but I'm glad I'm here with my new teammates," he said. "It's an amazing feeling. I'm closer to my family, closer to friends and the Big Blue Nation, so I'm super excited I made the switch."
Williamson was selected by the Titans in the fifth round (151st overall) of the 2014 draft. He's been mostly relegated to special teams, but saw his playing time increase Sunday.
"It was good to finally get in and get some reps on defense and make some plays and help out the team," Williamson said. "That's the main thing, just trying to get in there and make an impact and help the defense out. So it was great."
His first scrimmage play Sunday, Williamson made the tackle on a tight end screen.
Woodyard was the first to come up to him, giving him a congratulatory slap on the helmet.
"Absolutely. That's my little bro," Woodyard said. "It's always an honor to play beside a guy that went to your school at UK, that same badge of honor — that Kentucky blue. And whenever he's out there, man, I'm excited for him.
"I had a chance the last couple of years to play with Danny Trevathan, and this year with Avery. It's amazing. It's an amazing feeling every time he's out there with me."
Between series, Williamson could be seen sitting next to or very close to Woodyard, seeming to absorb whatever knowledge he could.
Woodyard "helps me out tremendously," Williamson said. "On and off the field. He's helped me with the defensive schemes. ... He's helped me out a lot and I'm glad I was put in the situation of being on the same team as him."
Williamson had one tackle for a loss, dropping Jeremy Hill for a 2-yard loss.
"I feel like I played pretty good," Williamson said. "I had a few mistakes but overall I felt like I was downhill and I made plays. That's the main thing."
■ Williamson and Woodyard, both of whom earned UK degrees, are high on the Wildcats.
"I see a whole lot of fight," Williamson said. "I feel like it's a new team and Coach Stoops has really changed the atmosphere around. I feel like they're really going to get it going these next few years. They're going to be a dominant force in the SEC."
Added Woodyard; "It's exciting. I really wish they would have gotten that win over the Gators, man. But Coach Stoops is doing some amazing things down there and I feel like the future's very bright."
■ George Wilson, a Paducah Tilghman graduate who plays at safety for the Titans, had three tackles and an interception. Wilson played in college at Arkansas.