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Smith will start at QB, but Stoops coy on what role Whitlow will have


Jalen Whitlow is ready to play, but Maxwell Smith will still be the starting Kentucky quarterback when the Wildcats play at Mississippi State Thursday night.

That’s what coach Mark Stoops said after practice Tuesday. Whitlow was injured on the second series of UK’s loss to No. 1 Alabama two weeks ago and Smith has taken most of the reps with the No. 1 unit while Whitlow was down.

“He’ll be ready to go if we need him. Again, I think Max got most of the reps last week and this week, but Jalen will be ready to go. We’ll use him if we need to,” said Stoops. “He got his reps and looked fine.”

Stoops would not elaborate when asked if Whitlow was part of the game plan — Smith and Whitlow both played in UK’s first four games — or if he would play only if Smith was hurt or ineffective.

“I mean, I’m giving you guys (in the media) a lot right there, give me some credit. I said Max is starting and Jalen will be ready, and we’ll use him if needed. Does anything else need to be said really? We’ve got other players on this team, too,” Stoops said.

Stoops did acknowledge that freshman quarterback Reese Phillips and sophomore quarterback Patrick Towles will both travel to Starkville. Stoops is hoping to redshirt both of them this year.

“We’ve been bringing them all year,” the UK coach said and added that the help “us with hand signals and different things” during games.

Stoops did try to put an end to rumors that UK would be wearing new uniforms for the ESPN game.

“I don’t know where these whispers come from. No. They’re not, I promise. No. One of the players even asked me. I said, ‘I don’t even know where the gray uniforms are. We don’t have gray uniforms. I haven’t seen them,’” Stoops said. “Let’s stick to this game. I’m just worried about this game here right now. And, hey guys, this is a typical Thursday for me, so I get to go home; my son is playing a basketball game right now, so let’s get on it.”

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  1. Larry Pup

    I’m glad Jalen is ready if needed.

  2. Little Baron

    It will be a major disappointment if Stoops does not realize, after 6 games, that he (&/or Brown) needs to remove the reigns on the offense and call in reinforcements from the redshirt sidelines.

    Anyone from the media ever ask Stoops & Brown exactly what they are saving two QBs for, with Barker coming in next year?

  3. JCC

    LB That’s what I have been saying. Barker from what I have been told and seen is ready to play now. If they try this same stuff with him I promise he won’t hang around and wait to be RS and get seasoned up. I wonder who is getting the second team snaps when Whitlow is out? I keep hearing Phillips may be the best QB on campus right now!

  4. JCC

    BY the way this is what Barker did in his last outing.
    7 Barker, Drew 19 16 0 341 4
    attempts: 19 completions 16 INT: 0 YDS:341 TD PASSING: 4

    1. RJ

      16 Int will not cut it in college midway through the season.

      1. JCC

        Sorry it is 19 attempts with 16 completions he had 0 interceptions, 4 TD’s.

        1. RJ

          I’ll buy that……

  5. jcc

    UK is a “Nike” team and they do offer a gray uniform set. There is a pic on the internet showing what they look like. I am sure if Stoops want’s to wear the gray set he knows exactly where to get them. I have not been really impressed with the choice of uniforms the cat’s have choosen to wear this season. Maybe they should go with what Tennessee called their smokey gray uniforms that they wore againist I think South Carlonia, big win for the Vols’.

    1. Winchester

      The school colors are blue and white. not thug gray/black.

  6. Mike

    KSR states this morning that Stoops apparently wants to keep the bull dogs guessing as to who our qb will be. My guess is they don’t care because we don’t have a QB either way. Agree with those above that the shirts should be off for open competition. It certainly be any worse than it has been.

  7. RJ

    What’s wrong with Blue and White?

    1. Winchester

      I agree, but they want to have the thug look nowdays.

  8. Bill

    Barker has already said a RS season would be fine with him. The transition from hs to the SEC is a major step up in terms of the speed of the game and athleticism of defenses. It’s unrealistic to expect any freshman QB to step in and lead the way. Footwork and the needed speed in decision making and ball release is at a higher level. There have been a few, very few, that have been successful but they were usually surrounded with experienced skill players and solid, experienced offensive linemen that could protect them. If Jalen had a high ankle sprain there is no way he will be ready. If he is ready then he didn’t have a high ankle sprain, or his recuperative powers put him in the Superman category. Oh, it can get worse, much worse. Look what the ole ball coach did to Arkansas.

    1. Winchester

      I totally dissagree that the SEC is speed. That’s what the media pushes. But what makes it speed. Some teams are better than others, but all teams have fast players. All the speed in the world will get you nothing if you can’t catch the ball (UK receivers) or can’t run.

  9. Little Baron

    JCC, I am thrilled to hear from those who realize the QB situation needs a boost from a RedShirt QB!

    Amazing stats… % completions, no interceptions, yardage, TDs!!!

    I always thought UK colors were Blue & White… I fully agree.
    Remember when Pitino “introduced” the UNC color on our jerseys!!! Let’s stick with the sport and not focus on how many colors we can wear. I remember the Barnhart “blackout” for a home game and we got knocked out on the field with a loss!

    The recruiting has been GREAT with this staff… virtually non-existent the past several years… but this staff needs to wake up and unleash every offensive weapon standing around watching, and let them prove or disprove their ability in REAL games.

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