Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops said he continued to see progress with Jalen Whitlow at the quarterback position Wednesday following the Wildcats' practice for this weekend's matchup with No. 9 Missouri.
"I thought Jalen had a very good day yesterday and he seemed to have a good day today,” Stoops said.
As for Whitlow’s receiving corps, Ryan Timmons is still banged up with a sprained ankle and is not expected to play on Saturday. Also, Alex Montgomery is out for season with a torn ACL. But with other Wildcats rising to the occasion, Stoops believes they will be able to put a viable group of wide outs on the field.
“Javess (Blue) is fresh. He looked good. Demarco (Robinson), (Jeff) Badet – all those guys are getting better. We need to use our tight ends a little bit more and get them some balls," Stoops said.
Missouri is known for its high-powered offense, but Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown seemed to be most impressed with the Tigers' defense. More specifically, the speed of the defensive line.
“They have had as many good defensive lineman in the last five to seven years in the country,’’ Brown said. “They have the fastest D-Line that we’ve played. And they chase the ball, maybe better than anyone we’ve played.”
With the pressure that the Missouri defense consistently puts on opposing quarterbacks, it will be especially important for Whitlow to be on top of his game Saturday.
“We have to get the ball out of hand faster, and I think (Whitlow) understands that. But we’re going to have to do some things in protection – get some backs, get some tight ends – to help our guys out,“ Brown said.
It will be a challenge that the sophomore quarterback is up. Whitlow, who has had struggled with the injury bug to this point of the season, described his health as “good enough” on Wednesday after practice.
The Wildcats (2-6) play host to Mizzou (8-1) on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Commonwealth Stadium. The game is set for a noon kickoff and will be televised live on ESPNU.