Kentucky Wildcats Football: Pump the Brakes After Spring Game

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Oct 13, 2012; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Jalen Whitlow (13) looks to pass as Arkansas Razorbacks defensive tackle Jared Green (57) closes in during the first quarter at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night was pretty great right? A crowd of 50,000+ showed up to watch the new look Wildcats scrimmage in the stadium. There were lots of interesting tidbits on display in Commonwealth both good and bad. But fans need to practice caution when making judgements based on the Blue/White game. It was the teams’ 15th practice under the new coaches, it was played as a scrimmage, and it was played without most of the #29 ranked recruiting class in the country. The team we see take the field against WKU will look very different. Some common misconceptions:

  • Reese Phillips put himself in the discussion to start this Fall – Phillips had a good day for a kid who should still be worried about who he asks to prom rather than which read to make. He definitely showed promise for the future and could surprise people in a few years. That being said, he has never taken a college snap and his success came against 3rd and 4th stringers for the most part. He showed a live arm but isn’t a contender to play in 2013.
  • Jalen Whitlow ran away with the job- Whitlow undoubtedly had the best day among the quarterbacks competing to start, but the competition will extend into fall practice. This was really only one of fifteen practices and reports from the total package say that the QBs have taken turns looking like the starter. Neal Brown said on the radio yesterday that he would like to have a starter picked by the second week of practice this fall.
  • The defense is weak.- Quite simply, practices and scrimmages always favor the offense. There were several drive-stopping plays that didn’t happen Saturday because defensive players didn’t want to hurt their teammates. Example: The under-thrown touchdown pass from Max Smith to Demarco Robinson, where Robinson cut in front of Ashley Lowery to snag the ball. Lowery was in great position on the play and in a real game would have laid the receiver out rather than trying to bat the ball away.
  • Anybody but Raymond Sanders will start at RB- Sanders started the game and was a bit underwhelming when he ran the ball. He showed why he will see a lot of snaps this year catching passes out of the backfield and breaking some tackles. Brown commented yesterday that Sanders was the guy who stuck out at RB all Spring. Dy’Shawn Mobley ran pretty well but still showed suspect hands in a passing offense. Josh Clemons looked electric and h could take the job if what we saw is how he always plays, but coaches said that was probably the best day he has had so far. He needs some consistency.
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