Mark Stoops was not satisfied with his Kentucky football team after their first scrimmage of the 2017 preseason. He described it as “just okay,” and is happy they still have three weeks to prepare for Southern Miss.
At the heart of Stoops’ unhappiness is on the offensive side of the ball. The first and second string unit did not score until late in the scrimmage after a rough start. On the first drive the offense marched down the field inside the opponent’s one-yard line, only to fumble the football. They started drives well, but did not finish them, a hallmark of today’s scrimmage.
Before the good news, more of the bad from the injury front. It was almost injury-free, excluding Cole Mosier. Stoops said he’s “slightly concerned” about the senior left tackle, but his status is uncertain until Monday. Six others were not dressed for today’s scrimmage, most notably Denzil Ware, Tobias Gilliam and Josh Paschal.
There is some good news. Matt House said earlier this week the defense’s top priority was stopping the run. Stoops was pleased to report he saw an improved rush defense.
Offensively, Lynn Bowden proved he is a playmaker. Even though he missed the first week of camp, the true freshman made a couple impressive catches as an inside wide receiver, with a few coming in the clutch on third down.
There was a surprise appearance on the offensive side of the ball. Jaylin Bannerman, a 6’5″ 238-pound redshirt freshman defensive end, received reps at tight end. Stoops said they’re trying the athlete at multiple positions on both sides of the ball.
More to come throughout the day from UK’s first preseason scrimmage.