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Stoops addresses the quarterback situation


Nick just gave you guys a quick rundown on what was said in today’s somewhat gloomy press conference (which you should read ASAP), but given that we’ve got ourselves a new starting quarterback, it seems important to relay exactly what Stoops had to say about the quarterback situation.

Asked whether the new-look depth chart meant Max Smith was going to be the guy this weekend, Stoops responded simply: “Yes.

Pushed for more information on what he saw Saturday that gave Smith the edge, he said:


“There’s a lot of things… Just because we’re naming Max, we’re not putting that loss on Jalen whatsoever. There’s an awful lot of people that can do things better – starting with me. Max, ya know, he came in there and did some good things. And Jalen did some good things as well, just like we thought he would. There were some critical errors, ya know, from both quarterbacks. We need to improve at that position, and we just feel like Max gives us the best opportunity this week.”


So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth: Max Smith is QB1 until further notice. And given what transpired Saturday, it’s the right call. Jalen is an undeniable talent that needs to be on the field in some capacity, but as of right now, Max is the much steadier hand under center.

Article written by Andrew McCarthy

38 Comments for Stoops addresses the quarterback situation

  1. Andy
    4:16 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Max goes for 300+ next game with 3 td pases.

  2. jeremy
    4:20 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Have not seen it talked about much but I thought our D-line (especially) and our O-line conditioning was far from where it needed to be. There was one shot of Cobble getting up off the ground it was very clear to see that he was far from toned. WKU ‘s line was in shape. They looked it and they played like it. There were also a number of times when our big guys were being attended to on the field. I’ve always heard that those little nagging injuries occur many times when players are not going full speed. Some of that could be due to conditioning. Of course, I wasn’t at practice but it seemed like there were a lot of days when the coaches said ‘they took it easy’. Don’t know but from my view point, we need to be in better shape. But this is just one of a myriad of issues this team apparently has.

  3. Wildcatsteeler
    4:24 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    If it was such a close race you go with the more experienced QB. Especially when that QB fits the style of offense you want to run. Plus you can still use the athletic Whitlow in the offense. Amateurish mistake imo. I think it’s a very different game with Smith as the starter.

  4. Wildcatsteeler
    4:26 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Oh, and my comment above isn’t hindsight. I said it for 3 weeks before the season even started.

  5. ukbpl
    4:28 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Perhaps Jalen could try linebacker or defensive line as we have no one playing there now

  6. Sam
    4:29 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    I’m not sure there is a significant difference in their ability to throw the football, but Whitlow was tentative and Smith let it rip. Wish I could have gotten to see more of Patrick. I am sure the coaching staff knows what they are doing with him, but color me curious.

  7. Ronkat
    4:38 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    As I watched the game, I found there to be little improvement versus previous years under Joker regarding technique, conditioning and desire. But remember that the talent all along both lines is simply not there. Everything starts with the lines! This is the first game and I know there will be improvement regarding the things the coaches want the players to do. But real improvement will not take hold until the players recruited are of the talent, determination and desire needed to win!

  8. katmandue2you
    4:44 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    don’t like to get on here and degrade prior comments….but everything to date shows there is a significant difference in their ablilty to throw the football. Max Smith was leading the SEC in passing yards at 322 a game when he went down last season….Whitlow had the balance of the season to get his passing game going. if you look statistically at their passing…its not close. Max gives this offense the best chance to do what it is intended to do play in and play out. There is a place for Jalen and he needs to play and he is certainly a sufficient enough passer that don’t play total run when he’s in the game. But Max Smith needs to be the primary quarterback of this offense and this team. He gives us the best chance to put the ball in the endzone

  9. Andy
    4:44 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Brown wanted to go with Max and Stoops with Jalen. I think Stoops now realizes that its time to let OC Brown make those decisions.

  10. katmandue2you
    4:49 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    I had heard that…didn’t know the validity of that rumor….I’ve watched every down both of them have played…the blue-white game and the fan day practice….Max needs to be the main man. Now we figure out how to get maximum contribution from Whitlow too…cause he definitely has a place and needs to be part of the package

  11. jpg
    4:54 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    The difference between Whitlow and Smith was not just the passing proficiency of Smith, but the ability of Smith to read the defense and go through his progressions. He was looking at what the defense gave him, and adapted.

    Smith seemed confident and poised, while for some reason ‘Jalen looked like a deer in the headlights’. This is something that can not be blamed on the staff, for Whitlow might have looked like the better QB for the system in practice. The only thing that can reveal this problem is an actual game. It did! Smith was getting the ball out quick, and made WKU have honor his accuracy.

    I would love to see Smith in the shotgun with a bunch of quick hitters (kind of what Petrino did to UK to offset UK’s supposed D-line strength). This would will open up the field and allow our running game to shine. The pistol and quick hitters to the flat would become quite effective.

    I think UK is going to look much more pumped and ready to go next week. We have the staff to make changes. Just remember that this was the staffs first time ever getting to see them play in a real game environment within their system. They are trying to run the system with players who I view were ‘de-developed’ by the previous coaching staff.

    Go Cats!

  12. jpg
    4:55 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    8, I completely agree.

  13. ribin
    5:25 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Use the quick passing to set up run and the backs out of backfield — — seemed tobe reading the run until having to pass — be one of the other — can’t be both.

  14. Hollahollaholla
    6:01 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Is it possible this staff is RS Towles because they know what a colossal disaster this season is going to be?

    I cannot imagine he’s worse than Whitlow throwing the ball. There is no way he is not the best QB.

  15. Lipset
    6:07 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    4). Told you so! PETRINO…told u 3 wks ago

  16. Hindsight
    6:20 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Of course Smith will look good next game when we play a team that just got blown out by MARSHALL. Then when Max can’t do anything against the UL defense and everybody else we play, we will hear “See we should have stuck with Jalen”. Easy to come in a game when your team is down 20 points with no chance of winning and the other team has put it on cruise control. I hope i am wrong but Max smith didn’t go thru any progressions last year. Held on to the ball to long or just immediately threw to the 3-5 yard route. Our fanbase should win the Heisman every year for the monday morning quarterbacks.

  17. Sam
    6:24 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    History repeats itself. This is Curtis Pulley versus Mike Hartline all over again. A certain segment of the fan base will never favor having a guy like Whitlow run the offense. It is what it is.

    Max did throw the ball well early in 2012, but he also never had to play against an SEC defense and he threw 4 interceptions against Western. Also, I fail to see how Max has a significant experience advantage over Whitlow at this point. He sat all last year while Whitlow ran the team through the entire SEC schedule, and they are both learning a new offense.

    Leading up to Saturday, what did we know? Anybody that wasn’t blind could see that Whitlow was the top performer in the spring game. He was making good reads and hitting receivers in stride. He also looked best at the fan day practice. Don’t tell me we have no evidence that Whitlow can throw the ball as well or better than Max when he has his act together.

    Having said all this, I don’t disagree with the staff’s decision to give Max the nod for Miami. When Max got his shot in the fourth quarter, he didn’t look scared and his willingness to take some shots down field helped get us going. For the first time the entire night the offense looked like it had some mojo. It doesn’t matter how good Jalen is in practice if he freezes up when the lights come on.

  18. Exactly
    6:26 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    #16 correct! If anybody listened to Stoops pressed, he was asked if Miami surrendering a billion yards to Marshall had anything todo with Smith being named starting QB for the Miami game. Read that again ….. “For the Miami game”. He also said he will do what is necessary to win a game. Meaning all you Monday morning QB’s shouldn’t be surprised when Whitlow gets the start in week 3.

  19. jpg
    6:29 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    16, Jalen looked like a ‘deer in the headlights’ against Western. I am sorry but you have to give Smith the chance when he comes in to the game and actually make plays. Whitlow had 16 yards passing in the 1st half! He is athletic, and can have a lot of roles on the field, but his running ability is only an added advantage if he actually throws the ball.

    Smith led the SEC in passing yards in his first 3 weeks, before he went down for the season. If we want some type of “air rid” he needs to be the option.

    Whitlow can be like a Randal Cob if you think about it, but I do not see him as our starting QB, especially since he EYES down his targets.

  20. Exactly
    6:30 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    #14 that is absurd. If this is a throwaway year, AND this staff thinks Towles is the best QB, then they would be getting him game experience. No way he sits unless he is 3rd best, which by all accounts he is. Can’t get thru his progressions, doesn’t get rid of the ball, hasn’t adapted to the speed of the college game is what I hear from a couple people that have seen some practices.

  21. Exactly
    6:35 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    #19 you need to restate that Smith led the SEC in passing in 3 games last year, yet he did not face an SEC team before he got injured. Slightly misleading. Actually more than slightly. At least Whitlow can escape when our O line can’t block. Oh well everyone has an opinion, truth is there are more pressing issues than the QB.

  22. Great Idea
    6:43 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Why don’t we just ask Bobby Petrino who he thinks should start at qb for UK?

  23. jpg
    6:43 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    The thing is, since Jalen had almost all of last year under center and he was the leader for the job through all of spring, than why was he so guarded during the season opener? He looked very tentative, while Smith went out and looked poised while he took shots.

    A guy can have all of the skill in the world, but it only counts when he puts it to use in a game. I hope Jalen figures things out. Maybe the Smith start will drive him.

  24. NL
    6:47 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    21- Yes it was before SEC competition but Smith played a very good Kent State team and Louisville. Also, Jalen played Samford and looked like crap in that game, so you can’t say Jalen didn’t have a chance to put up big numbers.

    I agree that there are more pressing issues though. Regardless of QB, our offense is not explosive enough to put up 50 or more points per game. Our defense has to improve if we are going to have a chance at winning

  25. jpg
    6:57 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    21, I agree that Smith did not go against the SEC last year, but he did put up 35 of 50 for 280 yards and 2 TD’s against UL. He is very accurate. Whitlow has had the game reps of last years, and a solid spring to become an aggressive passing threat, yet in the 1st game of the season he went for 16 yards passing in the 1st half.

    UK’s O-line was horrendous Saturday, but when Smith was in, he seemed to get the ball out quick. If a team has to respect UK’s passing attack, then the running game will open up.

  26. Ikeeveready
    7:43 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    21, 24,25 – don’t forget Kent State was 1 play away from taking N.Illinois’ place in a BCS game and I think finished in the top 25. That was a good football team.

  27. Deacon
    8:32 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Was it a Head & Shoulders commercial that said “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Well, Coach Stoops first impression could not have gone much worse. I’m disappointed, but not giving up on Stoops after one game. What was clear on Saturday was that it was an experienced head coach who knew how to prepare a team and a gameplan, against a coach doing it for the first time. Stoops did not have them ready to play emotionally and the Cats were un-disciplined , (multiple false starts) and fundamentally unsound, (multiple missed tackles). Elliott’s defensive gameplay was ripped apart as well (his first time as a coordinator – at least at this level).
    I think the staff will learn from this and grow into their positions. There are going to be lots of growing pains along the way.

  28. Emc
    8:34 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Lets face it, it is going to be a long year! I just want to see signs of life throughout the year. I think we will

    As for the last game we just have to give credit to western. They had the top five players on the field. They had purpose. Their coach had a great plan. They just whooped us. No other way to put it

  29. nkycat
    8:37 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Cats score plenty of points to win a football game! The real problem was the defense did not show. Western ran over and through them like with ease. The real focus down the road needs to be on “D”.

  30. Tell it like it is
    8:54 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Hello, playing your true freshman wide receivers didn’t help your QB situation.
    Makes me sick paying big money to attend game and seeing a freshman fumble the ball and cost us the game with 6 1/2 minutes left in the game. By the way, those Stoops recruits making mistakes.
    Quit candy coating it. Play players that have a month in the program, duh!

  31. jpg
    9:08 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    30, freshmen mistakes are what happens when the staff has to play them because the players of the previous staff are not and better, or have been underdeveloped. BBN knows what this season will entail. The support will be there, and Stoops and company will slowly figure their team out.

  32. Sgt Jimmy
    9:10 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Speaking of quarterbacks, did anyone notice last years UK QB coach on the Florida State sideline? For all the talk about last years coaching staff being bad, seems like most got other jobs at high profile programs. Joker at Florida, Mike Summers at USC and Mike Cassidy at WKU. Seems like Matt and most fans are clueless when it come to football.

  33. Patches
    10:17 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Whitlow is 6’2″ and 220 lbs. He is football fast. He is not an Air Raid QB, but he is a playmaker that is bigger and stronger than most SEC RB’s. What disappoints me most is the lack of creativity among Stoops/Brown in getting both Smith and Whitlow on the field at the same time. When you are low on talent, keeping what you have on the sideline is Joker 101.

  34. What is going on
    10:25 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Bologna on freshman mistakes are going to happen. We were in the game and it was a huge fumble with 6 1/2 minutes left. Don’t tell the BBN that mistakes are going to happen. Cost us the game. Do they bench the kid, no they make him a starter this coming week. Not to mention the drop he had on his only other attempt. No problem, make a crucial mistake and get rewarded. Horrible decision!

  35. BC
    10:53 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Max should have started game 1 period, JW is a runner with a decent arm and he can be a good Wildcat QB in short yardage situations, AKA R Cobb was here …

    On defense, if you are continually having your DBs play so far off the ball and their first step is back, you will just give the opponent a easy quick hitch all night …

    We are young a young team yes, but man up on the corners and have the pride to be a good team !!!


  36. Hey SGT Jimmy
    12:00 am September 3, 2013 Permalink

    Joker and Sanders are good position coaches but that’s it. UT dominated the 90’s and then Randy Sanders was promoted to OC at Tennessee in 1999. Go back and research what the team and offense did before he was OC and then what they did after 1999 til 2005 when he was fired. Was QB coach at UK from 06-08 then when Joker got the HC job he promoted Sanders to OC in 2009. Do i need to remind you what happened to our offense the last 3 years while Sanders was the Offensive Coordinator? Playcalling? Anyone? Anyone? One of the main reasons Joker was fired was his poor decision making in promoting Sanders to OC and refusing to let him go. But other than that, yea they are great coaches.

  37. El Guapo
    7:51 am September 3, 2013 Permalink

    One of the three quarterbacks needs to redshirt and get some separation between their classes. If Towles can be redshirted and get him a year behind the others, that’d be swell.

  38. Herbie
    10:16 am September 3, 2013 Permalink

    So you have all spring and summer to evaluate and you dont decide until a day before the game? Then your decision is reversed after one half against a superior Sun Belt conference team? Hmmm sounds like this first year coach is over his head!