UK will go with Smith, Whitlow at quarterback

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - After announcing on Monday that he had narrowed the quarterback battle to two players, UK coach Mark Stoops on Tuesday said Maxwell Smith and Jalen Whitlow would battle it out for the starting nod.

"Yeah, that's who we're going to go with," Stoops said, following his team's scrimmage at Commonwealth Stadium.

Stoops said sophomore Patrick Towles will prepare as the third-string quarterback.

"Patrick (Towles) has been absolutely fantastic during the process. He fought. He wanted to win the starting job, but he's had a great attitude, and that's what I told him," Stoops said. "Patrick has been very good, has continued to work extremely hard. He's got as much talent as any quarterback we have on campus, but it's just a matter of letting him grow into the situation a little bit. And he's open to the idea, if the opportunity presents itself, to redshirt. And if we go through the year and neither one of the quarterbacks are getting it done, then we may open it back up. But he's going to prepare to be the third quarterback with the opportunity to redshirt if it presents itself."

Stoops also saluted the UK receivers for their showing during Tuesday's scrimmage. Stoops said he didn't remember seeing any dropped passes.

Freshman receiver Ryan Timmons continues to impress. Stoops said Timmons could be a starter when the Wildcats open the season against Western Kentucky in Nashville on Aug. 31.

Defensive end Za'Darius Smith continues to miss practice time because of an ankle sprain.

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