After opening the season with a loss to Western Kentucky, the Kentucky Wildcats and new head coach Mark Stoops made a change at quarterback. And on Saturday, it appeared that the UK staff definitely made the right call.
Kentucky blasted Miami (Ohio) 41-7 at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington on Saturday, and the Wildcats were much more efficient on offense than they were last week. Maxwell Smith got the start for the Big Blue, and he looked good, connecting on 15-of-23 through the air for 310 yards and three touchdowns.
However, the unexpected part of the switch to Smith from last week’s starter, Jalen Whitlow, was that Whitlow not only played quite a bit in this game, but he looked good. Whitlow was 10-of-12 passing for 103 yards, and also rushed seven times for 48 yards and a score.
When Stoops and offensive coordinator Neal Brown said that they would play both quarterbacks, this is what Kentucky fans hoped to see. Smith should be the primary quarterback as he is the better passer and reads defenses better, but Whitlow needs to be used in the offense as well because of his ability to make plays with both his arm and his legs.
In last week’s loss to WKU, Kentucky scored 26 points in the entire game. Against Miami, Kentucky had 24 points at the end of the first quarter.
Whether Saturday’s result was a reflection on an improved Kentucky or a poor opponent, the Big Blue did look much better than they did seven days ago. And that improvement is needed, because the schedule for the Wildcats is about to get much more difficult beginning with next week’s game against the Louisville Cardinals.