By Evan Crane, UK Media Relations
LEXINGTON — Maxwell Smith wasn’t expected to resume practice until Wednesday, but offensive coordinator Randy Sanders said after practice Tuesday that Smith practiced and felt “pretty good.”
“Max felt pretty good today so he did practice,” Sanders said. “The original plan was for him to not throw much today, but he felt good so we went ahead and practiced him. We tried to limit his throws just a little bit but he looked good and felt good. He is not 100 percent yet, but I expect by Saturday he will be really close. We will see how he is doing in the morning and judge on how well he feels.”
Sanders said true freshman Jalen Whitlow got most of the snaps as the No. 2 quarterback Tuesday. Sanders said what makes Whitlow an option at quarterback is his speed and running ability.
“The thing Jalen can do and the advantage that young guys always have is their ability to run,” Sanders said. “That is the one thing he has. If he doesn’t know what is going on in the passing game he can pull it down and make yards … That is the thing that showed up most in fall scrimmages.”
Looking back at the Florida game, Sanders said there were some positives the team could take from the loss, especially how well they ran the football against a solid defensive front. That trend of stout defensive lines continues this week against South Carolina, who ranks seventh nationally in sacks and 22nd nationally in tackles-for-loss. Sanders said not only does the Gamecocks’ ability to get off the ball cause problems, but so does their height.
“I see a lot of big, fast, athletic guys,” Sanders said. “Their defense front is far and away the best defensive front we will have seen this year. Not only are they fast but they are tall. You got ends and the shortest one is 6-5. They are really good on defense, really active, really athletic up front … Their front makes you get it out of your hand so quick.”