ANDRESS | Stoops "would like" one QB, restless with two at UK - WDRB 41 Louisville News

ANDRESS | Stoops "would like" one QB, restless with two at UK

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LEXINGTON, Ky. --- Mark Stoops made it clear Monday that rotating Maxwell Smith and Jalen Whitlow at quarterback is not what he wants moving forward.

"With the quarterback situation we need to continue to evaluate that," Stoops said in his opening statement. "Both guys struggled at times Saturday. That had to do with a great Florida defense and us not executing, but we will continue to look at that situation as we go forward."

Soon after, Stoops was asked if the rotation would continue.

"No, we would like to get to one, we really would," said Stoops. "Last week was unique with Max being banged up. He missed the entire bye week. He threw the ball extremely well last week in practice, looked very good in ‑‑ so, you know, we're in a little bit of a quandary right now, with what to do."

That quandary comes after Smith completed 12 of his 20 passes against Florida for just 90 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception. Jalen Whitlow went 5-of-6 for 35 yards. More importantly though, neither could put points on the board, sans Kentucky's fake field goal for a touchdown.

"I think we're going to try to give it to one person, give him the reps and see what he can do.  I think we need to do that.  It has not been clear‑cut at this point," explained Stoops. "It would be reckless for us to name one guy at this point because nobody has taken the job and we're going to evaluate it this week and see where we're at."

Not only that, Stoops said it was fair to say he's grown restless with neither quarterback playing well enough at this point in the season to win the starting job outright.

"Yes, I think we need to take one of these guys to take our team."

Stoops said consistency is the most important factor in either Smith or Whitlow emerging as the every-down quarterback.

"We will tailor our offense to do whatever we (have) to do to help us move the ball to win games.  We just need the best player to come forward and be consistent and give us a chance to win."

Stoops hinted that Maxwell Smith, who he named the starter before Kentucky's second game of the season, needs to perform in games like he's performed in practices. It seemed he was starting to beat out Whitlow, but then he injured his right throwing shoulder against Louisville in game three.

"Again, we look at ‑‑ Max ‑‑ once we made the move and were going with Max, he was doing pretty good in practice and gets hurt...still has a good practice, then last week goes out in the (Florida) game and doesn't play like he was practicing."

As for how Mark Stoops and his staff and cultivate consistency out of one of his quarterbacks...well that's a tough question to answer.

"It is hard. We just practice and practice every day, and play our games and hope one guy takes charge.  He hasn't done that yet, and I think, like most people, we feel the same frustration at times. But like I said earlier, just to name one, if he wasn't clearly the starter and not helping us, we tried that."

With its first road game looming at #13 South Carolina Saturday, it's back to the quarterback drawing board for Kentucky.


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