Recapping Kentucky's spring game
April, 25, 2011
By Chris Low | ESPN.com
Kentucky was the last SEC team to wrap up its spring practice last Saturday with its annual Blue-White spring game. Here's a quick recap:
- The game was initially going to be an offense vs. defense scrimmage, but Kentucky coach Joker Phillips decided to divide the roster into the Blue team (consisting mainly of second-teamers) and the White team (consisting mainly of starters). The Blue team was spotted a 14-0 lead to start the game and ended up winning 31-28. Joe Mansour kicked the game-winning 38-yard field goal with just under a minute to play.
- Junior Morgan Newton, who exited the spring as the Wildcats' clear-cut starter at quarterback, had a big day. He finished 23-of-44 for 256 yards and three touchdowns. His completion percentage would have been a lot better had it not been for several drops by his receivers. Newton's 1-yard touchdown pass to E.J. Fields tied the game before Mansour won it with his game-winning kick. Fields also had a one-handed 54-yard touchdown catch while playing for the Blue team, which was one of the few highlights for the receivers.
- Phillips was clearly pleased with Newton's progress this spring and said he was "night and day" better as a passer from where he was last December in the 27-10 loss to Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl. Newton had several nice throws down the field and said he leaves the spring feeling much more in command of the Wildcats' offense.
- It wasn't a complete wash for the receivers. Brian Adams caught seven passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns. It was a busy day for Adams, who's the center fielder on Kentucky's baseball team and played baseball later that evening.
- Newton threw an interception that was returned 33 yards for a touchdown by senior safety Josh Gibbs, but Phillips said much of the blame for that interception can be pinned on two receivers not being where they were supposed to be.
- Junior Ridge Wilson looked comfortable in his new linebacker/defensive end role and finished with two sacks. The two sides combined for 18 tackles for loss in the game, and one of the reasons Phillips brought in co-defensive coordinator Rick Minter was to create more negative plays and more turnovers. Redshirt freshman defensive end Justin Henderson, playing for the Blue team, had three tackles for loss, including a pair of sacks.
- For more on the Kentucky spring game, including statistics, check out the Wildcats' official web site.