The Kentucky football team competed in its first preseason scrimmage leading up to the season debut against Auburn on Sept. 26.
UK Head Coach Mark Stoops met with the media afterwards to discuss the inter-squad battle, and was pretty pleased by the team’s overall performance.
”It was a very good scrimmage today,” he said. “It was good to get out there.”
While he did not go too far in-depth into individual play, Stoops said that four quarterbacks got some reps in the scrimmage, and all played well.
”I know the quarterback position (is one that) everyone is excited about,” he said. “To be honest, I thought they played really well. All four guys that got some snaps today were effective, and were very comfortable in there, and did a lot of good things.”
Presumed starting quarterback Terry Wilson has fully recovered from the season-ending knee injury he suffered in the second game of last year, and Stoops said he has looked confident and ready to go in all facets of the QB position.
”He definitely looks comfortable, he said. “I wanna say he had four series and looked really good, had a couple long drives in there and I saw enough and pulled him and put some of the other guys in there.”
One of the other guys that got some action was freshman Beau Allen who has caught the eye of the coaches in practice so far. Stoops said along with the whole freshman class which has looked good, Allen once again showed his potential by slinging a contested 40-50 yard touchdown to fellow freshman Earnest Sanders.
Back in terms of the whole squad, this Saturday would have been just days away from the opening game for the team, but the schedule of course was pushed back and re-arranged due to Covid-19. Stoops said while the urgency is still there, it is different in that as a coach he is not as anxious 24/7 at this time as he would be in a normal year and the players have more rest periods.
“Our preparation time is much longer this summer, and that’s what makes it different,” he said. “We still always come in the building with a great sense of urgency each and every day, whether you’re a player or a coach. However, there is more down time now, and that’s what’s so different.”
Knowing that the players have more rest time, and are not able to go many places due to Covid-19, Stoops acknowledged that the team constantly hitting each other might get old very quick considering they still are a month out from the first regular season game. With that said, he is not as concerned as maybe in years past knowing this team has plenty of upperclassmen.
”Normally, we do things to keep it fresh and to change things up. With the Covid on top of it, it makes it difficult, because we can’t do a bunch of team bonding and team building and exercises as far as getting in buses and going somewhere, trying to break things up and help them out a little bit,” he said. “It’s difficult, but again I think it helps that we have a mature football team. We will do things in practice to try and freshen it up, change it up. But it’s a challenge for everybody right now.”
The team now has one scrimmage down, and many more to go before heading to the state of Alabama to face the Auburn Tigers in their opening game. Until then, we all sit and wait anxiously for football season to begin.