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Tuesday’s Football Practice Notes

For OC Randy Sanders, this week is about figuring out how to attack Arkansas’ defense with the quarterbacks that are still available. On one hand is true freshman quarterback, Jalen Whitlow. Whitlow did not have a great outing against Mississippi State, something Sanders expressed shortly after the game, but he’s really the only completely healthy quarterback left on Kentucky’s roster. According to Sanders, with Whitlow under center, Kentucky can only run about 10-15% of its playbook. Obviously that can be a problem if opposing defensive coordinators have those plays on film, and can effectively plan for them. On the other hand is veteran quarterback, Morgan Newton. Newton, who is still recovering from shoulder surgery, knows more of the offense, but can’t really throw all of the routes. If defenses know that, they can bring safeties down on the Kentucky offense to take away the run game and force Newton to throw the routes he’s not able to throw. It’s really pick your poison for the Wildcats offense, and it will force Sanders to be really creative going forward.

-Newton did get first-team reps at today’s practice, according to Sanders. Expect Whitlow to be the starter, but coaches are prepping Newton for a relief appearance if Whitlow happens to go down. “Jalen was fortunate because he got second team reps today, too,” Sanders said. “I told Jalen, he is going to be tired everyday he leaves the practice field this week because I need to get him every rep I possibly can. If something happens to him and Morgan has to play or whoever goes in next is being done a tremendous disservice this week, but our best opportunity to win is to get Jalen all the reps he can get and see if we can get through some of those mistakes in practice and hopefully make him that much better on Saturday.”

-Sanders also spoke on the type of defense Kentucky will see against Arkansas. Arkansas will not show as many fronts as Mississippi State does, but their coverage packages are more complex. “Different coverage package and there is obviously some carry over in the coverage package but there are different coverages,” Sanders said. “Their blitz package is a little different than what we have seen. Up front, there are similarities but also some differences and they do a few different things up front than the last few teams have done. It is nothing we haven’t seen before but something Jalen hasn’t seen a lot of probably.”

-On the other side of the football, DC Rick Minter has his hands full preparing for one of the best quarterbacks the nation has to offer in Tyler Wilson. Arkansas is 2nd in the SEC with 301.3 passing yards/game, something can have a defensive coordinator losing sleep with all of the youth now in Kentucky’s secondary. “You name it, they can do it,” Minter said about Arkansas’ offense. “Tyler Wilson is a good quarterback; they got good ample receivers; they got a tight end that could be back this week that they have missed a lot; they have a good runner; they have solid big guys up front left over from Mike Summers a few years ago and they are coached very well; we will have to defeat all forces.”

-With S Tay Neloms day-to-day, and presumably out for Saturday’s game, Kentucky will be without probably the best player in their secondary. Minter initially said there was only about six players healthy in the group, but Summers refuted that today. “We’ll have enough for a two-deep depth chart on Saturday,” Summers said. Summers wouldn’t say who would start, though, he expects that decision to come closer to game day.

-Two players expected to get a lot of playing time in the secondary this weekend are twins Zack and Daron Blaylock. Check out what they had to say about playing together at Kentucky:

(h/t Courier-Journal)

Article written by Rashawn Franklin

10 Comments for Tuesday’s Football Practice Notes

  1. WestWorld
    5:26 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    Solution to the QB dilemma:
    Newton lines up as the QB with Whitlow as a running back. Newton calls the play, spots the receiver, yells the number to Whitlow as he laterals the ball to him and Whitlow makes the throw. I think it could work….

  2. BBN
    5:32 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    Have we fired the bum yet?

    There is NO way mitch can bring joker back is there? (We all know we wont even get 2 more wins.)

  3. young
    5:45 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    Who cares?? I didn’t even read the post & 90% of people will not either. UK football sucks. Thats cool. Bring on basketball!

  4. I'm Not a Coach
    5:55 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    2 thoughts. Why not have Whitlow run the same offense that we ran against UT last year with Roark? It will take John L at least 3 quarters to realize what’s going on.
    Newton is a Sr. and “knows more of the offense”. After 4 years you would think he would know it all!!!

  5. Steady
    6:14 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    4. I’ve only watched a few games this year and I know most of the offense, hand off-check…bubble screen- check…what’s to know?

  6. ilykedykes
    6:14 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    Wake me when it’s Sonny in Lex Vegas.

  7. ap3
    6:48 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    how can these kids be on campus all summer and only know 15% of the playbook? I see true freshman start at other D1 schools, and them not knowing the plays is never brought up as a problem. I feel like it just shows how poor UK’s staff does at preparing their kids to compete at a high leval.

  8. wow
    7:01 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    @6 you like dykes?….so does my lesbian cousin

  9. Beatle Bum
    7:28 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    I thought Sanders was saying Whitlow got both starter and second string snaps. That is why he said Whitlow was going to be exhausted, he was getting all the snaps to get as ready as he can be. Did you go to the presser?

  10. bluristhurr
    8:10 am October 10, 2012 Permalink

    The uniforms finally start to look good and we go back to sucking! I thought this Minster dude was supposed to know how to play D. He can’t answer a question when asked. I want the whole staff gone and please don’t sink to that Bobby P I’d take the old osu coach with whatever sactions. What does bowl eligibility mean when you can’t get 2 wins?