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Registered: ‎07-14-2012

UK Football Practice Notes - Thursday, Oct. 4

* Joker met with us scribes for the final time this week as the Cats prepare for Saturday's home game against Mississippi State. Despite the 1-4 record, I must say things "feel" particularly upbeat around the Nutter Center. The last couple of days have been very loud and spirited as we entered the complex. Perhaps that's a product of so many young players being in the mix. They seem to be having fun, even though the record doesn't reflect it. "We had a lot of juice today," Phillips said. "We gotta carry that over to the field Saturday."

* Asked about the QB situation, Joker said they're bracketed as "slash" starters on the depth chart, Jalen Whitlow OR Patrick Towles, but Whitlow will be the guy on the field with the Cats get their first offensive possession Saturday. Joker reiterated that Towles WILL play Saturday. He just doesn't know exactly when. They won't have a scripted series for him. A lot will depend on how things unfold at the start of the game and situational stuff. "Time to go. We're going to throw them out there and see what they can do," Phillips said.

* Having played a couple of games, Whitlow is probably more ready to go than Towles, Joker acknowledged. But Towles was amped up today. Phillips: "He said he wished the game was in a couple of hours. I said 'I don't.' You didn't see this practice." (Laughs) "You like that, though. I don't want them to try to hide behind anything. You're going to be nervous, no matter how you spin it, you're going to be nervious being the first time you run out on the field. But he's a confident guy, a lot of confidence in his ability, so we're going to throw him out there and see how he does."

* Asked if he was more nervous about this week or the week they prepared Matt Roark for Tennessee, Joker said it was Roark. They've gotten more work in with these guys, and they're natural QBs.

* Joker praised Randy Sanders' ability to work with young QBs. Said he has a knack of communicating with the QBs and spending a lot of time with them on and off the field, doing extra stuff in the meeting rooms when it's just four of them.

* Joker said he's told the WRs it's their job to get with the young QBs and work with them, help them along. Some fans have noted the body language of the WRs at times since Max went down, and I *think* that's what Joker was referring to there. They can't expect things to come as naturally and easily as they did with Max.

* Updating the injury situation, LB/S Miles Simpson practiced today. They'll take another look at him tomorrow and see if he's OK. They expect him to be with the 1s on Saturday. LB/S Josh Forrest and LB/S Kory Brown are questionable, so Ashely Lowery has been getting a little bit of work at that spot as well since Martavius Neloms is at safety. "You've got to be creative," Phillips said. "That's where we're at. That position is really just a nickel back. Lowery is probably more suited there."

* DT Mister Cobble should be the starter Saturday. He struggled a little bit earlier in the week, but should be fine.

* Joker said Maxwell Smith's surgery reportedly went well, but joked that "doctors always say that." They still don't expect him to be back this year.

* Asked what's at stake for UK this week, Joker downplayed the question. Said it's just another SEC game and an opportunity for them to turn things around with a W.

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