Kentucky football is back in gear on Saturday for the last two games of the season and it looks like we are going see the dual headed QB combination of Patrick Towles and Jalen Whitlow. Here are some comments from yesterdays media opportunity from Randy Sanders:
After practice, offensive coordinator Randy Sanders and defensive coordinator Rick Minter talked about the team’s bye week and its preparation for Samford. Sanders said he felt true freshmen quarterbacks Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles did some good things in UK’s last game against Vanderbilt, but admitted there are still improvements that need to be made.
“I thought the last two games have been Jalen’s best by far,” Sanders said. “The Missouri game he did a lot of good things but there are some things we need to shore up and get better. The Vandy game was easily the best he has played to this point. Patrick did some good things last week but there are a whole lot of things he has to make a lot of improvements on in a hurry.”
Sanders said he believes UK will use the same rotation for Whitlow and Towles as they have in past weeks, but did not rule out a change in the plan based on how the game is going.
“I anticipate them both playing, obviously that depends on the game and how that is going,” Sanders said. “Still our No. 1 priority is to win the game and we will do whatever we have to do to win the game. If things go as we like, I would expect both of them to play.”
Sanders said since the announcement that head coach Joker Phillips would not be retained for the 2013 season not much has changed for the Wildcats, with the team still giving strong energy and attitude.
Just a reminder that Saturday night is Senior Day and there really is no reason to NOT Occupy Commonwealth:
Saturday will serve as Senior Night for the Wildcats and both Sanders and Minter said they will remember the memories with the players and thank them for their hard work for the program.
“There are a million memories that you have whether it be on the practice field, game field, in the meeting room or at dinner some night or at lunch,” Sanders said about the senior class. “There are a lot of good memories to have. We are going to miss those guys and hopefully we finish this thing out right and can send those guys out with two wins.”
“It was a small group entering the season,” Minter said about the defensive seniors. “We only had five guys that really were into their last hurrah. They have been great leaders for us and we have gotten great production out of them down through the years. UK can be proud of the five that are going to be leaving. Collins Ukwu, Taylor Wyndham have been big up front and stalwarts for us and playing all year on almost every play. Then you have the three guys on the back end in Cartier Rice, Martavius Neloms and Mikie Benton and they have all had their ups and downs with the injuries unfortunately. Nonetheless, they have been great mentors and leaders for the young kids that have come along through the program and have very bright futures here.”
On the football field, Minter said that Neloms, who has been limited recently due to injury, “is a work in progress.” Minter said they are limiting Neloms in practice this week to make sure he is ready to go Saturday.
Minter said he has preached to his defense to finish the season strong for the senior class and make sure to give them the best possible effort in the last two games.
“We talked to our guys and rallied our forces after the day we were informed and said, ‘To our seniors we owe everything to play our best football the last couple of weeks of the season and send them out on a high note,’” Minter said. “This is their memories and photographs for life and also try to send Coach Phillips out on that note. Other than that it is business as usual and they are getting our best effort as a staff and we haven’t changed anything.”