The football Cats just finished up a scrimmage two weeks before the season opener against Western Kentucky, and we have just a few things to learn:
-JoJo Kemp and the 1st string offensive line are early standouts according to Neal Brown
-Several guys (Brown, McWilson, etc.) combined for four interceptions, which is a strong sign for an otherwise weak secondary
-While the interceptions were good for the Corner Corps, it doesn’t bode well for the quarterbacks who still seem to be in tight competition
-Still no final word on the QB race, but Kyle Tucker of the Courier Journal thinks it’s down to Max Smith and Jalen Whitlow. No surprises there
STOOPS QUOTE (via KyForward)
Really today, I’d say the defense had the upper hand. The defense had the better day, had some critical turnovers. The offense did some really good things, had some really good drives early, and I believe we got one in or so and then a couple field goals. Maybe two scores in early there. But overall, the defense got some good pressure, got some good turnovers and once we got in all the situational parts of the scrimmage, the defense had the upper hand (today).
Is the uncertainty at quarterback a tool that the coaching staff is using against Western?
I’m not sure. We’re gonna sit down here today 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 gonna work through some of that for sure this week.
Anybody catch Stoops’ eye on defense?
I think the offense, we had some missed tackles and we had some big plays early, and that was very alarming. And then we started settling in and playing good team defense. Because if you have a bunch of guys in the right position and you’re making them execute, you can make it a lot more difficult on the offense. I think that’s what I noticed as the scrimmage went on. Guys were where they’re supposed to be. We were a little bit more solid up front. We were making cleaner tackles. And the defense was staying on the right side of the chains. Early, they were getting five, six or breaking a big run and (the defense) started to settle in a little bit as the scrimmage went on.
Is the team starting to play with Stoops’ personality?
I don’t know about that. I think they care. I want us to play with more of an attitude, and more of a care-free attitude. I mean if we’re going to make a mistake, make it going fast. And we’ve got to play with some confidence, and we’ve got to let it rip. And we’re not overreaching them that way. I can promise you that. We’re ready for it, and we’re just seeing some guys that are a little bit timid, a little bit quiet and we need them to play with more of an attitude and play with more confidence.
Best part of Stoops’ press conference? His opinion on playing literally half of the Top Ten: “Like I said before, that’s five great opportunities. (Laughs)”