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Whitlow's Struggles Not His Fault

Posted: Oct 16, 2012 4:36 PM by Alan Cutler
Updated: Oct 16, 2012 4:38 PM

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When you've won only once, and you are really hurting offensively, you search for answers. The struggle can be tough enough for a coach that they can wonder if they are finding the right answer.

"Maybe as coaches we haven't put our finger on what that is we do well yet," says UK offensive coordinator Randy Sanders. "We still look, and still searching and hopefully we'll find it soon."

What UK did to Tennessee last year, taking a wide out and running the ball with Matt Roark, was remarkable. Perhaps you couldn't do that every week, but Jalen Whitlow is a better runner than Roark, but is struggling passing the ball.

The freshman quarterback shouldn't be playing, so hopefully no True Blue fan will get on his case. Whitlow gets down on himself because all of this can be overwhelming and his teammates feel for the situation he's in.

"When you have a young quarterback in there, the best thing you can do is just keep encouraging him," says center and team leader Matt Smith. "He gets down on himself a lot. Understandably, a lot of those guys do. It's a lot of pressure."

It's a ton of pressure that no player likes to admit that they are dealing with. Throw in the added pressure of playing on the road, and it's easy to see why getting blown out at Arkansas was a step back. Your fear is, if you are a coach, that when you throw a player into the game before he's ready, you hope it doesn't break his confidence.

"It seems like we're farther away from executing correctly last week than we were two weeks ago," says Sanders. "We are trying to figure out why that is. Is it what the defense is doing? Or are those concepts just not clicking in his brain? Or what do we need to do."

Morgan Newton will back up Whitlow.

There is no official word from Joker about Patrick Towles because he doesn't talk to the media on Tuesday, but it doesn't look good for Saturdays game with Georgia.

Patrick Towles walked off the field in sneakers and he was limping. Randy Sanders isn't anticipating Mr. Football will be able to help at quarterback this week.