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What Stoops Said About Yesterday’s Spring Game

Yesterday’s Spring Game wasn’t too flashy or surprising for many UK fans, and while the football team obviously still has the clear support of Big Blue Nation shown by yesterday’s attendance numbers, some are still skeptical as to just how much better this team will be than last year’s 2-10 squad. Well, according to Stoops there is a vast difference between this time last year and right now.

Here are a few quotes in regards to his team’s performance at the scrimmage yesterday:

On Patrick Towles…

“I’ve been as honest with you all as I thought I could be this whole spring.  We have got kids here that are competing for starting positions.  And you know, I’ve told you that Patrick has made some improvement.  You saw it right there on that drive and throughout a good part of this game. You know, he’s doing some good things and he looks comfortable back there.  It’s not easy.  You take Reese (Phillips), who is just a freshman and of course Drew (Barker) should be in high school right now.  It’s not easy.  It’s a different game going from high school to college and I was very proud of the way Reese and Drew played throughout the whole spring.  But I did like that.”

On the depth at running back…

“I feel good about our depth, I really do.  As you know, we need it, and I like the way those guys played.  You can see Jojo (Kemp) is a different guy.  He’s healthier.  His ankles are healthier.  He’s stronger.  He’s more explosive. And certainly having Braylon Heard, we are awfully excited about Braylon.  He’s just got a calmness about him.  He always competes, but he’s a very mature kid and he’s explosive out there.  So great to have him.  You saw the other guys, too, Josh (Clemons) and Mikel Horton. We are deep there.  So we are going to need him.”

On the offensive line…

“We are better.  Again, I say it over and over, but it’s true, we are going to get better, we are going to get stronger, we are going to get deeper but I like the way those guys are playing.  They have a pride about them, and you guys can see that; and even at times last year, we are going to have some physicality about us.  I’m know not saying we are going to go in there and smash‑mouth everybody but you have to some have some toughness about you and some physicality, and we are going to continue to work on that.”

On how he feels now versus the spring game last year…

“You feel much better.  You know, I really tried not to ever â€‘‑ you know, throw everybody under the bus, including myself and the team, but we just weren’t very good.  We’re better.  We’re still not where we need to be but we’re better.  We’re at that point where you can really start to feel that improvement.”

On Za’Darius Smith and being disruptive…

“Well, absolutely, it’s just like the screen that he intercepted.  When we are in a live situation, we may chop him a little bit more than that.  So you can’t put that all on Patrick (Towles) there.  We have to get him down. But he’s a big guy and he’s put on a lot of weight, and he’s always been a technician, but you just â€‘‑ again, that maturity, a year older, that experience, just to be a playmaker.”

What the three quarterbacks need to do during the summer…

“They, just like the rest of our team, need to continue to work hard and improve. Very few teams in the country got done as late as we did today.  We needed that work.  We needed a long winter to get physically bigger and stronger and to develop our skills and fundamentally getting better. Our players need to take a little bit of time here, decompress and do good in finals and all those things, and then we have to get right back to work.  We have got to have a great summer. We have so much work to do and we can improve so much just through this summer, so they have to continue to work and they have got to be great leaders and they have got to bring everybody along with them.”


Article written by Wilder Treadway

KSR Alpha Class '12 #holla

23 Comments for What Stoops Said About Yesterday’s Spring Game

  1. jeffrey
    11:36 am April 27, 2014 Permalink

    I’m going to go ahead and repost this on a dedicated football topic:

    Can I just say Drew Barker is the real deal? He may not start this season, but he has a good head on his shoulders, smart in game kid. Has a great arm, great accuracy, and a very quick release that you see top level QB’s have. Can you imagine what he is going to be like his Junior season?

    And I am very very happy with Towles, great QB, accurate, he didn’t display any long range accuracy simply because he didn’t really attempt it. But he showed something that I love in a QB, ACCURATE FIRST DOWN PASSES. Plus he barely made any mistakes, the only time he “messed up” was when he had to run for his “life” because the O line broke down. I have confidence in him for this following season, I like this kid. We certainly took a huge step up in the QB position this season, I feel like all three are better than Max Smith and Whitlow.

    Now our O-line needs to do their job, and protect our QB if we are going to have a chance to win 5 or 6 games this season, we have 3 games that we should win this season, then 3 toss up games in MSST, UL, and MAYBE Vandy, and since UGA is coming to CWS this season, and UK always plays them tough, that could be our upset this season if we are being optimistic.

    • DB11
      11:59 am April 27, 2014 Permalink

      Our team would have been much better last year had we had a competent QB. Hopefully we will have that this year.

    • jeffrey
      12:07 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

      Yeah, it seems like we will finally have that this season.

    • CATS
      12:50 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

      You consider Louisville a toss up game? I love uk football but I don’t see us coming close to beating them this year.

    • jeffrey
      1:13 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

      1: it’s a rivalry
      2: they do not have Teddy
      3: We have the luck of playing them at the END of the year.

    • Do whut?
      5:28 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

      Louisville is extremely beatable. Teddy B was that team and frankly I’ll be disappointed if we don’t beat Vandy. They lost everybody including the coach.

  2. bluetoooth
    11:55 am April 27, 2014 Permalink

    we have a fine stable of running backs . that will be a major plus this year

    • Stoopified
      12:00 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

      Air Raid!

  3. Zach
    12:08 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

    I think that Towles showed he can be that type of player. Play like that plus score a few TDs and this team can definitely win anywhere from 4 to 6 games with a major improvement of the entire team AND adding depth to all positions, especially WR and CB. This year I think our range is 3-5 wins plus an upset. I hope PT will start. He has definitely developed into the QB that Neal Brown needs to run the Air Raid Offense the right way. It should be fun to watch. Go Cats!

  4. UKCincy
    12:47 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

    Does anyone know if there will be any kind of after spring drills depth chart? Except QB of course, for we all know about that.

  5. Whitlow Return?
    12:49 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

    @IamEmmettSmith: What would you all say if Jalen Whitlow were to stay at UK? #BBN #WhyNot #JustSayin

    • Coach Jamin
      12:55 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

      I’d say fantastic! Jalen is a great athlete and I could see him being spectacular (almost Cobb like) as a wildcat guy and lining up outside at receiver. I actually hate to see him go to be honest. He has so much talent. He has good football smarts. He’s just not an SEC quarterback.

    • Do whut?
      5:30 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

      Is this someone legitimate or just some random tweeter?

  6. Bill
    1:08 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

    Towles has made tremendous improvement in his mechanics. I’m still not sure about his decisions under pressure and his tendency to make negative plays. If his decision-making can improve, especially under pressure, then he will be exceptional. While he has a canon for an arm, he isn’t as accurate and doesn’t have the touch of Phillips. Barker has the best of both but needs a redshirt to develop. I guess we will see who comes out of the summer ready to claim the starting position. We will likely need two and maybe all three if the offensive line can’t step up and protect them. We are definitely steadier and much improved at QB compared to last year. I expect opposing teams to stack the box and bring the house unless we can effectively complete short passes to counter them. I agree with Stoops. We still have a lot of work to do even if we are bigger, faster, and more athletic compared to last year.

  7. John
    1:29 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t see this team winning more than three games. I think they’ll lose all their SEC games along with the Louisville game at the end of the season. If Petrino could beat us with WKU then I can’t imagine what he’ll do with Louisville. He works wonders with qbs and I think Will Gardner is going to explode onto the national scene. Early prediction… Cards by 30

    • They were better
      1:54 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

      Western beat us because they had more talent. We are improving but still are a season or so away talent wise.

    • NL
      3:16 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

      I doubt cards by 30. They may win, but it won’t be by that much. I think its closer to a toss up. They lost a lot of good players last year/down overall and we didn’t lose much, probably are better overall

    • Chaz
      3:45 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

      Remember that Petrino spent most of the pre-season prepping for that one game, while Stoops was trying to figure out WTH had happened at UK in the last two seasons. Stoops for the long haul, Petrino for a big splash.
      It could be different come November, especially when the Cards try to overcome the culture shock of changing conferences. If they’re beat up during the season,and we don’t get decimated by injuries, I look for a competitive game.

    • Do whut?
      5:47 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

      I can’t imagine us not recognizing a Louisville troll who somehow sees a Louisville team that beat us by 14 last year somehow picking them by 30 + having lost their first round quarterback. Ain’t no way there is a 30 point difference.

  8. Vast difference
    5:21 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

    Wilder, you better temper expectations a little. He never said we are “vastly” better. He said Patrick “has made some improvement.”, “I like the way those guys played”, and “we are better.” About the line he said we are better but then we are going to get better and deeper. That does not mean deeper this season. It means in coming seasons. We have a way to go. Like in basketball, it is a process and hopefully fans will stay the course. This season should be fun but we will still be outmanned.

  9. Blue To The Bone...
    7:20 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

    Hey John…I would like to have a whole lot of that…How bout it?…

  10. UKJonny
    9:36 pm April 27, 2014 Permalink

    I hope like the other poster said above we are not decimated by injury(s) by the time the UL game rolls around but think this for a minute. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a win in football against UL then almost less than 4 weeks later have a win against them(UL) in basketball? There is essentially no time for them to regroup from the sting of a loss in football and the a possible pounding in basketball. I am finally happy for UL to be in a legitimate conference now since they have cried for so long to be in one. Now the fun begins. UK on the other hand has a long way to go and at best I would only say 4 wins maybe for us anything above that is icing on the cake for me. Anyway, GO CATS!