With less than a week until the Blue/White Game, the Wildcats went to Kroger Field one final time to scrimmage. Above all else, Mark Stoops liked what he saw from the defense.
1. Big Day for Defense
For maybe the first time all spring, the defense lived up to Stoops’ lofty expectations. It all started at the line of scrimmage.
“I was really pleased defensively. I felt like a week ago we just kind of milled around the field, didn’t have the intensity that we’re looking for. This week, different story,” Stoops said.
“The defense came out and played, really dominated up front, physical at the point of attack, created some turnovers and played a really good scrimmage. I’m pleased.”
Phil Hoskins was disruptive, credited with at least two sacks on the day. The defense picked off a few passes and dropped a couple more. The offense did not make a charge until late.
“Offensively we did some good things late in the scrimmage, made some big plays down the stretch. We made a big play to cap the scrimmage off. Just like a typical spring scrimmage, there’s a little give and take.”
Final scrimmage before our annual Blue/White Spring Game on April 12! ?
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) April 6, 2019
2. Potential Spring Game Format
Stoops is still weighing his options but ideally, the team will be split in half for a true Blue vs. White game Friday night at Kroger Field.
“I’d like to have a regular game, rather than offense and defense,” he said. “Our players enjoy it that way, I think the fans do too. If we have enough numbers I’d like to do it that way.”
Depth may prevent that from happening. Today Kavosiey Smoke and Keaton Upshaw were just two of the players withheld from the scrimmage due to injury. If the Cats get healthy enough, Friday could be a lot of fun.
3. Stoops Expects Jared Casey to Play
The media spoke to the four-star in-state recruit for the first time this morning. He explained why Josh Allen was a big reason why he decided to come to Kentucky.
“It’s big shoes to fill. I’m just trying to do the best I can,” Casey said. “The first thing I haver to do is learn the position. I can’t have as many mental errors. I need to be able to play fast.”
Even though he has not completely grasped the system, Stoops expects Casey to play this fall.
“He needs to continue to learn, improve and get better,” said Stoops. “He’s swimming a little bit right now, like you would expect for a true freshman, a guy who should be in high school. But yeah, we anticipate him playing.”