LEWIS | Stoops has QB starter and players have motivation - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LEWIS | Stoops has QB starter and players have motivation

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) - The question surrounding the starting quarterback position at Kentucky is answered… at least, within the UK coaching staff.

Head coach Mark Stoops said Monday he and the staff have decided if Jalen Whitlow or Maxwell Smith will take the first snap against Western Kentucky Saturday night in Nashville. However, Stoops says he has yet to share that information with his team, including Whitlow and Smith. And he's not telling any of us media types either.

"No, I'm not (revealing the starter). This first game, I don't see a reason. It's been a close battle the whole time. Might as well use it to our advantage, if it is one. I'm sure (WKU) will be prepared for both guys."

WKU should also prepare for a team that hasn't forgotten what happened last year at Commonwealth Stadium when the Hilltoppers beat Kentucky 32-31 in overtime. Some of the players felt the Toppers celebrated a little too much on Kentucky's turf.

"You can't go in anybody's house and do what you want, so that's something they we're not going to take lightly," said senior running back Raymond Sanders.

"We want to go out and set that tone and let them know that we're an SEC team and that we're nothing to joke around with, so we want to set the tone right from the first play," said senior linebacker Avery Williamson.

While some UK players try to downplay the 2012 WKU game, Stoops is fine with his squad using it as motivation for 2013.

"If they need to, sure. It should bother them," said Stoops. But, he also added, "All that's going out the window. It's about preparation."

Saturday marks Stoops debut as a head coach on any level.

"I think I (may think about it) briefly or at the beginning (of the game)," he said. "I'm human and it will be exciting for me. It will mean something to me. But then it's getting right back to the task at hand and getting your team ready to win."

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