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Kentucky's Mark Stoops planning for next game without injured QB Jalen Whitlow


Kentucky quarterback Jalen Whitlow was carried off the field after injuring his left ankle in the first quarter against Alabama. | Photo by James Pennington

Kentucky quarterback Jalen Whitlow was carried off the field after injuring his left ankle in the first quarter against Alabama. | Photo by James Pennington

 

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops is drawing up the game plan for the Wildcats’ next game against Mississippi State, and the first draft will exclude injured quarterback Jalen Whitlow.
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Whitlow sprained his left ankle in the first quarter of Saturday’s 48-7 loss to No. 1 Alabama, and Stoops gave the first update on Whitlow’s condition on his weekly radio call-in show Monday. After practice Tuesday, Stoops said not much had changed, and he reaffirmed that he’s not making any declarations just yet.

 

“That’s what I felt (Monday), but again, with ankles, I hate to say that because things change with ankles,” he said. “People respond differently. So, like I said, I’ll give you a little nugget here every three or four days on that because that’s what I think that will be an indicator on that.”

 

Whitlow’s backup is Maxwell Smith, and he stepped in to finish the Alabama game with 76 yards passing and one touchdown, a 30-yard strike over the middle to Javess Blue.

 

If Smith were to get injured—not something one would ever forecast, but he has missed time this year with a shoulder injury and missed eight games last season with an ankle injury—the Wildcats’ quarterback situation would get dicey. The other two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, Patrick Towles and Reese Phillips, are both scheduled to be redshirted this year. If either were forced into action, that plan would obviously be abandoned the second one takes a snap during a game.

 

Stoops has said if either is a better option at quarterback to help the team win on the field at any given time, he wouldn’t worry about keeping the redshirt on, but to this point throughout Kentucky’s season of struggling to find a quarterback, both Towles and Phillips have been an active part of the competition and neither have played.

 

The Wildcats have this weekend off and take on Mississippi State in Starkville on Oct. 24.  The game will air on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. ET.


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