Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Let’s Talk about our New Starting Quarterback

Saying that Joker was swarmed by the media today is an understatement. If you can’t tell he’s the one in the floppy hat

Saying that Joker was swarmed by the media today is an understatement. If you can’t tell he’s the one in the floppy hat

Normally at this time of the day you’d be seeing a variety of bullet points telling you in the greatest detail possible, of  how awesome of a practice the Cats just had. Well today is a different story, because today Joker Phillips announced that Max Smith beat out Morgan Newton for the job as starting QB. This post is all of the quote worthy materials about the decision on who will be the Cats fearless leader.

– Joker came out right away to say who was going to take the job, but he couldn’t just go out there and say it and kept us waiting for awhile.

“…You’ve got to make tough decisions and be held accountable for them, and this is one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make, and it’s the 3rd time I’ve had to make one like this. We have two Quarterbacks that we feel like can win in this league, and both have won in this league and the one we feel like has the best chance at doing that for us at this point…(15 more seconds of dialogue) is Max.”

I’ve never covered anything like this before and even though I already knew it would be Max, the anticipation was killer, and Joker did everything he could to make it as suspenseful as possible.

– The decision was made last night by Coach Phillips and Offensive Coordinator Randy Sanders, and both QBs were informed this morning, even though they were both prepared to hear that Max got the job. Morgan Newton pretty much knew what was going to happen, “It didn’t surprise me, the writing was kind of on the wall.”

– Max seemed excited and said that ” this is something I’ve been looking forward to since I was a little kid.” However the news I was more excited to hear about,  was hearing what Max had to say about the receivers he’ll be relying on this season.

“I feel great with the receivers, our young receiving core is really good. A.J. (Legree) and Demarcus (Sweat) are showing that they have tremendous upside. La’Rod is going to be La’Rod; he’s better than he was last year at this time. E.J. (Fields) and Demarco (Robinson) are doing a great job, as well as our tight ends.”

Whether QBs will say it or not, they pick favorites. The guys they trust to make plays will be the guys that are getting passes thrown their way. La’Rod King has done nothing but blow everyone away this camp, and I’m excited to see him make the same big plays on Saturdays. Max was also roommates with Sweat throughout camp, and it will be interesting to see if that relationship off the field, will turn into a good one on the field.

Morgan Newton was surprisingly upbeat and very respectful of the coaches decision. We have previously seen Morgan show angst when faced with adversity, but today he was a different Morgan Newton. He gave the best quote ever when asked how he was to prepare to come in as the backup, “People will start liking me again.” While that may be true, Newton feels that he has mastered the playbook by now and that his past experience playing against familiar foes could be something that he can use to help all of the QBs prepare for Saturday.

– On a final note, the QB job has still not been completely put to rest. While Newton is the definite #2, Freshmen Jalen Whitlow and Pat Towles are still fighting to be #3 on the depth chart. Joker said, “We’re not ready to make that decision yet and you don’t have to at this point. We’ve got a couple weeks before we line up to play, and those guys need a couple more weeks for us to make a decision.”



[email protected]

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

9 Comments for Let’s Talk about our New Starting Quarterback

  1. jonathan
    8:22 pm August 20, 2012 Permalink

    He’ll probably be a serviceable college quarterback. Not going to “wow you with talent” but hopefully make good decisions and score touchdowns. Unfortunately, I don’t see him winning a lot of games. UK’s talent is not at the same level of the SEC.

  2. CatGrad7072
    8:29 pm August 20, 2012 Permalink

    One comment in @30 minutes. Joker has the fan base at a fever pitch. Yes he has. Geez!

  3. tdogg40330
    8:41 pm August 20, 2012 Permalink

    1) their talent doesn’t compare to the Bama’s and LSU’s, but they can win some SEC
    games. Ole Miss, Miss St, Vandy and UT are all very beatable.

  4. tdogg40330
    8:44 pm August 20, 2012 Permalink

    nevermind on the Ole Miss, dont know why i put them in there …lol.
    Missouri is beatable as well though

  5. that guy
    8:53 pm August 20, 2012 Permalink

    So, Newton is the #2? Don’t we know what we’re gonna get from him? Dude was ‘ok’ his freshmen year, then down hill ever since. If (when) we need the backup, I’d rather see EITHER of the freshmen over Newton. Smith gives us the best chance – let’s hope he stays healthy! As someone has said, its pretty sad that Smith is the best option UK football has to offer. Who’s recruit was he anyhow?

  6. fan fan
    9:02 pm August 20, 2012 Permalink

    This is sad. It was clear that whitlow gives us a chance to win with his arm and legs. We won’t get to a bowl game with Max and Phillips is history

  7. Dave
    9:18 pm August 20, 2012 Permalink

    I agree its sad that Joker had to have a presser like this. You could hear the disagreement in his words as they came out of his moouth because Newton is his boy. Newton starts the 4th game against the Gators.

  8. putinrichie
    5:09 am August 21, 2012 Permalink

    5 – Completely disagree. I don’t want to burn the redshirt of Towles or Whitlow unless they are going to get reps and play the majority of the season. Since they were not able to seriously challenge Max Smith for the starting position, it makes the most sense for them to redshirt. Why would you want to waste a year of their eligibility as a backup QB on a losing team?

    7 – Why is it sad? I see no problem with a QB competition especially with the freshmen and no clear cut starter from last season. Even if you are 95% sure that Max Smith would win the QB competition, just the competitive nature of competing for your spot should have helped all of them. Also, its OK for fans to throw Newton under the bus because that is what we do, but Joker’s not going to do that. Newton may be his boy, but no coach is going to downgrade a senior like Newton especially when he worked hard to comeback from injury.

  9. CatsCatsCats
    5:10 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink


    I don’t think there was a real QB competition. Smith and Newton got about 80% of the reps during this highly contested quarterback contest. So basically a senior and sophomore getting 80% of the reps with about 6 springs of experience bewteen them beat out two freshman with 3 weeks worth of college experience. And it took this long to figure out who the top two were. And it was close according to the ‘Ol Ball Coach. A little concerning don’t you think!