You gotta have a good quarterback, see.
In the game of football, you either have a good quarterback or you do not, which is why teams are either good or they are not. Same with basketball. A bad PG can pretty much sink even the mightiest of ships, just ask my man Fleetwood Lavender. Aint that right, Fleet?
“That’s right, baby.”
This is especially true at Kentucky, a program of perennial defensive dearth and depth charts that are deep in name only.
But add a good quarterback to the mix and, voila, Music City Bowls on Music City Bowls, folks.
Kentucky could very well have a good QB on this here roster. Could have 2. Or even 3, I don’t know, I’m not in the trenches and film sessions with these guys. Let’s hope there’s 1. Otherwise…this team will get Hilltoppled, drowned in Bridgewater, swept up in the Tide, Gamecocked, Gator chomped, so on and so forth, week after week. We all know this is a season of survival. A bridge to the class of ‘14, and hopefully well beyond. But no one wants to see another 2-3 win momentum killing mudslide.
Max Smith. Jalen Whitlow. Patty Towles.
Plagued by injury, inexperience and lame ducks in headsets the past two seasons, this three horse race is tough to handicap. There’s certainly been flashes of good from all three, to go with the sparks of bad.
Max Smith may not not illicit visions of Tim Couch, or even good Mike Hartline, but in the Air Raid, all he needs to be is Dusty Bonner-ish. Accurate, savvy, and a leader, traits he’s showcased over the past two seasons. He’s the only returning QB to notch an SEC win (Ole Miss, 2011), and looked like a legitimate SEC starter against bowl bound Kent State last year, then followed it up with 4 picks against Western and a second consecutive season ending injury.
Whitlow ran a broken offense on training wheels last year and while his mobility proved effective at times he never really had an opportunity to make plays downfield. His accuracy and decision making improved in spurts and if the spring game was any indication, has come even further.
Towles is the heralded prototype with a cannon, great size, and elusive speed. The avalanche of optimism from his 7-8 1TD statline against Miss State last year was quickly flushed down the Commonwealth urinal trough when he too went lame, then made a couple of really ragged late season cameos.
There’s even been some steam around campus from freshman Reese Phillips, another gun toting biggin, but it’s hard to imagine this staff handing things over to a rookie and a redshirt looks like the logical play.
While Whitlow shined in the spring game, I still think the gig is Smith’s to lose and barring any setbacks, I think he gets the nod, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Towles shakes off the rust, gets his head in the game and makes a push. Either way, we’ll see more than one of these guys getting meaningful reps this year, so let’s hope 2 outta 3 aint bad.
I think we know what we’re getting everywhere else. Defense has a couple of nice pieces but little depth, question marks all up in the trenches, and some running backs and receivers that have yet to breakout. We all know how this book reads.
Except of course, for the chapter on QB1, which will dictate the immediate returns on the new staff, their recruiting mojo, and whether we’re slugging bourbon to kill the pain or slugging bourbon in high-five fellowship.