By LARRY VAUGHT
Why did Kentucky coach Joker Phillips wait so long to go to freshman quarterback Jalen Whitlow Saturday?
It was obvious to everyone, or should have been, that Morgan Newton was struggling with his accuracy. He was doing his best. Remember, he’s coming off shoulder surgery, lost the starting job to Maxwell Smith and has been working at other positions part of the time this season.
Yet for three quarters, Phillips — and UK fans — watched Newton struggle and Whitlow stand and watch.
“It’s a tough place to ask a true freshman to come in. We decided we were going to give him (Newton) one more series and then they scored, so we decided to give him one more and by that time it was out of hand, late in the game. He’s going to be a good quarterback. Again, this is a tough environment to come into and play as a true freshman. We’ll get Max back and we’ll try to get Jalen ready to be our No. 2 full time,” Phillips said.
Try to get him ready? Aren’t coaches paid to get players ready?
Phillips admitted Newton wasn’t “very accurate” with his throws? Could Whitlow have done any better?
“Again, it wasn’t very accurate. Again, for us to be successful offensively in this offense, you have to be able to throw and catch and we didn’t today,” Phillips said of his team’s quarterback play.
So who is No. 2 behind Smith now?
Phillips says UK has “been trying that” in reference to getting Whitlow at No. 2.
“It’s been the intention. It’s been the intention since we decided to move him up. The intention was to get him to be the No. 2 guy,” Phillips said.
Hopefully soon the intention will also be to give him a chance to be No. 2 in a game if needed as well.