LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's offense got the jump before the Wildcats' defense had the last word during Saturday's first scrimmage at Commonwealth Stadium.
With two weeks remaining before the season opener against Western Kentucky, first-year coach Mark Stoops lamented that his team is still not where it should be at this point.
For all the gains resulting from the offense's start and the defense's strong finish including several interceptions, Stoops said both units still had their share of breakdowns. The coach also thought their sharpness and tempo would be better after two weeks of practice.
As for the quarterback competition, offensive coordinator Neal Brown said sophomores Jalen Whitlow, Maxwell Smith, Patrick Towles and even freshman Reese Phillips showed some positives and that the staff was getting closer toward deciding which of the first three will start.
Compared to Friday's lackluster workout that a clearly-upset Stoops called disappointing, the coach saw some improvement. But things remain a work in progress, especially when it comes to developing an edge and identity.
"I think they care, but I want us to play a little more with an attitude," Stoops said. "If we're going to make a mistake, make it going fast. We've got to play with some confidence and let it rip.
"We're not overcoaching them that way, I promise you that. We're just seeing some guys that are a little bit timid and a little bit quiet; we need them to play with more of an attitude and play with more confidence."
Kentucky's offense initially displayed those qualities as the first and second teams effectively moved the ball downfield and got points. From there the defense dug in and got results, recording four interceptions.
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