The Kentucky Wildcats held their first major scrimmage of 2015 on Saturday, and by all accounts, it was a productive one for the football Cats.
Head coach Mark Stoops told the media afterwards he was very pleased with the team accomplished with just three weeks before their regular-season opener against UL-Lafayette.
"We got an awful lot of work in today," Stoops said. "I thought we really did some good things on both sides of the ball. Just like the last couple days I’ve mentioned, impressed with what we’re doing offensively. I feel like we’re much deeper than we’ve been. Guys are stepping up, making plays. There’s very good balance like we want.
"It was a good, hard, clean scrimmage. We weren’t perfect. We’ve got so many things we’ve got to get fixed, but just the effort is good, the attitude is good. We got a good amount of work done this week."
As for the starting QB battle, Stoops said both redshirt junior Patrick Towles and redshirt freshman Drew Barker looked good in the scrimmage, as has been the case for much of the offseason.
"They both did very well," Stoops said. "They both moved the ball at times, so we’ll take a good look at it."
It's possible Stoops looks at the film of today's scrimmage and makes a decision later, but judging by his comments, he wants to let he competition continue for another week or so.
If a decision is not made, that shouldn't be taken as a negative that Towles isn't doing enough to retain his starting job. It should be viewed as a promising development Barker is showing by doing enough to keep Stoops from feeling confident Towles is the best QB.
For all we know, Barker could very well become the better QB. It may not happen before the regular season opens, but if Stoops and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson think it will eventually happen this year, maybe Barker does end up winning the job.
As for who else stood out in today's scrimmage, Stoops singled out receivers Blake Bone, Dorian Baker and Jeff Badet along with running backs Mikel Horton and
"Off the top of my head, Dorian did some good things," Stoops said. "Again, he didn't get a ton of reps. The surface, with his knee and going two a days, you gotta be somewhat smart with him, but when he was in there he did some good things. (Jeff) Badet dinged up a toe or something like that, but he looked good for a while. He made a nice catch down the sideline. I believe Blake (Bone) had a couple of nice plays. So, the usual suspects.
"It was nice to see Mikel (Horton) run the ball downhill. We talked about him being in shape and being a tougher more physical runner. I thought Boom (menat to say Jojo Kemp) made a couple of really nice runs where we had him trapped and he broke it back and created something out of not much. Sihiem (King) did some good things. They all did their part."
For now, the Cats will be off Sunday before hitting the field again on Monday.