The Cats were on bye this past Saturday following their 14-3 home loss to Georgia. Within the last weeks, they have been able to recover from some injuries, but UK Head Coach Mark Stoops signaled today that the team is without a few offensive coaches as they’ve dealt with Covid-19 issues.
“We’ve had issues. I don’t think I’m allowed to get into specifics on that, but yes, we have issues with Covid. It’s not out of control, let’s hope it stays that way,” he said.
The UK coach said some assistants have taken on bigger roles in light of absences. As for the actual game of football, the team is still in the works of figuring out a starting quarterback for this week’s home matchup against Vanderbilt. Both senior Terry Wilson and Auburn transfer Joey Gatewood have seen time under center for Kentucky, and the two of them along with freshman Beau Allen are still in a fight to start according to Stoops.
“As I mentioned last week or the week prior, I’m never going to give up. The person who gives us the best opportunity to win right now is the person we’re going with because we’re here to win games. But there is a balance there. I do want to see and continue to be fair and be right to Terry. If he gives us the best opportunity to win games, he’ll be in there and he did have a good week of practice last week. With that being said, I still think Joey (Gatewood) and Beau (Allen) have great upside and I want to see them. It’s difficult because, as you see, every possession and every play is so important. That position is unlike others,” he said.
Once they decide on a quarterback, the next issue to deal with is fighting through passing-game woes. The Cats currently rank last in the SEC with just 711 total passing yards on the season and 5.39 yards per attempt. Even though they are a run-first offense, Stoops acknowledged they must become more balanced on the field.
“There is no denying we’ve been falling short in the passing game. I’ve not denied that, the coaches haven’t and the players (haven’t). We need to improve, we need to be more balanced. I talked about that coming into the year and we haven’t been as efficient throwing the ball as we need to. We worked hard last week during the open week to go back and look at the things we’ve done well, the things we’ve done well in the past and try to continue to improve in that area so that’s what we’re going to try and do,” he said.
Kentucky will host the Commodores at noon on the SEC Network this coming Saturday.