The words disappointment and average were used to describe Kentucky’s first preseason scrimmage today from players and coach Stoops. With three weeks till the season and good reports seemingly coming from every direction today’s scrimmage was an eye-opener to this team, and it feels like it has slowed the momentum down a little bit heading into September 1st.
Starting off with the silver linings from today’s disappointing scrimmage, UK did not have any injuries. The past few years it seems like Kentucky has been very unfortunate when it comes to injuries in their preseason scrimmages, look to last year when UK lost Dorian Baker and Cole Mosier due to injury. But, after scrimmage one all the players are healthy, outside of some bumps and bruises. Benny Snell did not participate due to a bum calf, but there is no need to panic, he is just being held out to get it to 100% by next week. Cedrick Dort had an ankle rollup, seems to be nothing too major. Stoops did not comment on Josh Paschal’s status.
Average, at best
Like I mentioned earlier, the theme of the day was disappointing and average. Sloppy play on both sides of the ball and lack of energy were the biggest problems today according to leaders such as Kash Daniel and Josh Allen. Even though it wasn’t a great scrimmage, a take away from an optimistic point of view is there’s a new standard at Kentucky when it comes to the football program. Kash Daniel said, “Our standard is to be the best team on the field, every time we step between those white lines.” An average practice in 2018, might’ve been great practice in 2015. At the very least, you can tell this team doesn’t want to get complacent or settle. That has to be a good sign going forward.
Inconsistency at Quarterback
Arguably the most significant offseason news for fans to follow this offseason has been the quarterback battle. Usually, by this time everyone would like to have an idea at who the quarterback will be to take the first snap against Central Michigan. We are three weeks from the season, and it seems like neither Stoops or Gran has an answer to that question. Hoping that Hoak or Wilson would reach out and take that spot, Stoops said the quarterbacks have been inconsistent, and they aren’t the only position as Stoops said the wide receivers had inconsistent play as well. With 21 days until the first Caturday, let’s hope one of the guys’ gets consistent quick. If you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterback.
Bunchy Stallings had High Praise for George Asafo-Adjei and Says Energy Needs to Start with Them
While there wasn’t much talk of who played exceptional today, senior guard Bunchy Stallings had high praise for his fellow offensive lineman, George Asafo- Adjei. Stallings said George’s growth this offseason has been like night and day, and he still has some more to learn as they see different schemes throughout the year. Bunchy Stallings also said that even with Benny out, who is undoubtedly this teams spark of energy, the energy needs to start up front. Stallings said Coach Gran had relayed the message that big men lead the way and to make sure the offensive line’s energy is up so that the offense can feed off each other.
There’s Still Time
There is still time, not a lot of time, but time nonetheless. First scrimmages can be an eye-opener and players can be a little antsy, I’m sure that was the case today. With three weeks left, that should give Stoops and the Wildcats plenty of time to address the issues and fix it. At the end of the day, that’s what these scrimmages are for, and I believe Stoops, and his staff fully expect to give better updates on this team next week. Take it with a grain of salt; every team will have their ups and downs in the offseason, Kentucky’s just happened to be today. While today was disappointing, there should be no need to panic or change your outlook on this season based off today’s scrimmage. But, Kentucky needs to fix their mistakes quickly.
Here are all of Stoops Comments from today’s scrimmage:
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