Judging by his comments yesterday, nobody told Derek Mason there’s a quarterback battle in Lexington. During his weekly press conference yesterday, Mason was asked what concerns him most about Kentucky’s offense, and he emphatically said Patrick Towles, despite the junior’s recent woes.
“Towles. When I look at them, obviously getting Boom back is huge for them. Boom is dynamic in terms of what he does because he’s able to give them a run presence that allows them to be balanced in what they do. Very much like Ralph [Webb], a little bigger maybe. Same speed but extremely shifty in space. He gives you some problems.”
“But Towles, in my opinion, has a big arm. He can extend the play, he can make all the throws. The long out, the deep throw, the comeback. He has a nice variety of balls he can throw. For us, it’s going to be huge to find ways to get him off the spot. We just can’t let him sit back there and chuck it around. We’re going to do some different things to get him off the spot.”
Towles didn’t play great in UK’s 17-7 win over Vandy last year, completing 23 of 30 passes for 201 yards and one touchdown passing and another rushing; however, those numbers actually look good compared to his performance in the last three games.
The charitable coach speak continued when Mason was asked about Kentucky’s defense, which he graciously compared to his own, which ranks in the top 20 nationally.
“We’re similar defenses. I love what Coach Stoops brings to the table. He’s a defensive-minded guy. We’ve been able to look at our defenses, they’re very much complimentary of each other, 3-4 defenses in structure. We run a lot of the same calls, we do a lot of the same things. It’s interesting what they do, they can apply pressure, their secondary at times, has been really opportunistic, they tackle well in the front seven, and they do a really good job applying pressure, whether it’s run or pass.”
I’m not sure what game tape he’s been watching, but I sure hope he’s right.