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Stoops, Brown still evaluating who should be No. 1 quarterback


Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown says there is some “ebb and flow” to the team’s quarterback competition as he continues to evaluate who should be the No. 1 quarterback when UK opens the season Aug. 31 against Western Kentucky.

“They’re all doing some positive things. I think Reese Phillips probably had as good a day today as anybody,” said Brown after Saturday’s scrimmage. “But we’re getting closer to a decision. Obviously, this is one of the things that will go into the equation, along with all the spring. We’ve got to get centered on who we are as an offensive team. We’ve got to figure out who our playmakers are at wideout because I didn’t really feel like we had anyone step up at wideout today.”

“They (the quarterbacks) had their highs and lows. It’s really hard to say. I guess whenever I see you all (in the media) next, Monday or Tuesday, whatever day it is, I’ll be able to give you a little bit better feedback. Being down here on field the level, sometimes you can’t see. We had some drops. So they made some better throws than what I thought because we were dropping the ball some later in the scrimmage.”

Head coach Mark Stoops said while the scrimmage was important for quarterbacks Jalen Whitlow, Max Smith and Patrick Towles, it won’t offset what went on during spring practice or in preseason camp before the scrimmage.

“We’re going to sit down here  and we’ll go through it as a staff and see where we’re at. And if we make any decisions, we’ll let you know. But we’re going to work through some of that for sure this week,” Stoops said Saturday.

Brown has hinted UK might not reveal who the starter is to complicate Western’s game preparation. Stoops isn’t sure it really matters.

“I’m sure they’re working for both – all three – of the quarterbacks, or both styles, if you will. If they think, with some of the quarterbacks being able to run the ball, you know what I mean?” Stoops said.

Stoops said a lack of consistency has made it hard to pick a top quarterback.

“Every time you start thinking you’re getting closer to making a decision, maybe some things go good or go bad with the other guys. I think we’ve been good and patient,” Stoops said. “Like I said, it’s not at a point where we’re getting antsy about it, but we’ll look at all the information, all the data and see if we have some player decisions. Then we can let them know and move forward.”

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  1. real talk

    Coach everybody knows what your doing. Hiding Whitlow is a good idea but cat out of bag! (Haha)

  2. RJ

    Coach will not start a freshman in a million years but I like Reese Phillips’ ability better than any of the others.

  3. Terry Blue

    Many think Max was the leader coming into camp. Statements above by Neal could mean he’s very much in the picture. He said what happened in Sat’s scrimmage wouldn’t offset what happened during the spring or the entirety of fall camp

  4. Andy

    I think its a tight race between Max and Jalen. Reese is close by, very close by. The other dimension Jalen gives is the ability to run and take off if needed.

  5. real talk

    Andy Whitlow didn’t need his running to win this job. He out passed them all and it was not that close. He’s hiding his hand

  6. Jim Harris

    Going strictly with the reported coaches comments, it appears that Patrick (my early favorite) has slipped all the way down to 4th. I base this on the positive comments of late and Patrick’s absence from them. He has too much inate talent to practice like this. Did he expect the job to be handed to him just by showing up? I’m frustrated on his behalf!

  7. Larry Pup

    I say it’s time to name a starting QB and give him the majority of reps with the first team offense to get this team cranked up, JMO. Somebody has to be the backup. Make a decision, game day is less than two weeks away.

  8. Larry T Clemons

    I think it shows, ” We have a good Stable Of Quarterbacks ! “

  9. TheProfessor

    “Stoops said a lack of consistency has made it hard to pick a top quarterback.”

  10. Larry Pup

    Maybe the time is right then to settle in on one guy. If he don’t work out bring in the backup. I think naming a QB for now as No. 1 would steady the offense, and give the starter some confidence.

  11. steve from Dayton -- UKFBFAN

    If you have a quarterback controversy, you don’t have a quarterback.

  12. RJ

    Steve is almost right. I think brown wants to keep western guessing. I also think Ky will need all the QB’s. Ky will be better this year but I cannot see more than 4 wins based on the schedule.

  13. Larry Pup

    I don’t think the idea of keeping WKU guessing is going to make that much difference now. BP will have WKU prepared for that game believe me. If I heard Coach Stoops right he agrees with that. Why not name our starter and get on with it. If you think about it, Whitlow is more of a threat to run, so WKU will prepare for that. The other three while they can run are not as much of a threat with their legs. Naming the UK starter now may just help our offense get ready these last two weeks before game day. I say a coach sometimes has to go with his gut feel if all things are pretty even. Somebody has to start.

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