While most focus on controversy surrounding UK’s starting quarterback, another is swirling at placekicker.
Miles Butler missed a 39-yarder on Saturday. The senior and former walk-on is now just 3-of-7 on the season. If the Cats had another field goal opportunity on Saturday, Mark Stoops was prepared to play the freshman, Chance Poore.
“I told you after the game, he was going in on the next kick,” Stoops said. “Miles was the starter. I believed in him, I still do, but he was going in to kick.”
The initial plan was to play Poore in only four games. By limiting Poore to long field goals, UK could give the former four-star recruit an extra year of eligibility. After seeing Butler struggle, the plan might be scrapped, although Stoops did not say who will kick Kentucky’s next field goal.
“We’ll see how the week goes. We’ll see.”
Stoops also was hesitant to provide an update on Josh Paschal. The defensive end who was diagnosed with malignant melanoma over the summer was seen working out on the sideline before Saturday night’s game against Vanderbilt.
“He’s been working with Coach Ed and he’s been strength training for a long time,” said Stoops. “Now he’s getting on his feet. The wound is healing. Then there’s the matter of just getting into shape, getting into football shape and controlling the other factors that go into it, not just the wound itself.”
Reading between the lines, unless the game is already well in-hand, I’m confident you’ll see Poore trot out for the Cats’ first field goal against Missouri. As for Paschal, I believe he’ll be ready to play in a limited pass-rushing capacity near the end of the season. The four-game redshirt rule might have set Poore back, but it could benefit Paschal.