QB race down to Smith, Whitlow
By Guy Ramsey
Just three days removed
from the first scrimmage of fall camp, Stoops brought his team into
Commonwealth Stadium for another competitive session. In a
reversal from Saturday's action, it was the offense that had its way
during the afternoon scrimmage.
"I just felt the need to get out
here," Stoops said. "Much better day. The offense executed very well,
had great enthusiasm. They executed well, did some really good things."
defense, however, did not perform as well as it had in recent days.
Defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said the unit's execution and tackling
was not up to par and did not force turnovers as it did just a few days
"The good thing about this camp is it's gone back and
forth," Eliot said. "There's been the back and forth, back and forth.
The last few days, we played well and we did some good things on
defense and then the great thing about this game is you can be humbled
in a minute."
On the other hand, Stoops was "encouraged" by the
way the offense responded following such a turnaround. Leading the way
were quarterbacks Maxwell Smith and Jalen Whitlow. Stoops confirmed on
Tuesday that the sophomores are the last two quarterbacks standing in
the race to start against WKU.
"We have narrowed it to two and I
think both of those guys will play in the first game," Stoops said. "I
know both of those guys will play in the first game. I don't know who's
going to start."
With Smith and Whitlow emerging, Patrick Towles
moves to No. 3 on the depth chart. Stoops and offensive coordinator
Neal Brown have already discussed the decision with Towles, who
responded to the news well.
"Patrick has been very good, has
continued to work extremely hard," Stoops said. "He's got as much
talent as any quarterback we have on campus, but it's just a matter of
letting him grow into the situation a little bit. And he's open to the
idea, if the opportunity presents itself, to redshirt."
than the quarterbacks, UK was without a few players at the scrimmage.
Defensive end Za'Darius Smith, cornerback Cody Quinn and center Zach
Myers sat out with lingering ankle injuries, while the coaches held out
cornerback Nate Willis. Willis is less than a week removed from
arriving on campus and Eliot said his absence was just a matter of the
coaches bringing him along slowly.