Kentucky will have two freshman quarterbacks rotating time Saturday when the Wildcats host No. 20 Mississippi State. Jalen Whitlow (13, left) played most of the South Carolina game but Patrick Towles (right) hasn't seen action in college yet.
October 2, 2012 7:13:41 PM
STARKVILLE - It's easier if Mississippi State University senior linebacker Cameron Lawrence says what the pair of inexperienced University of Kentucky quarterbacks.
"Whew, intimidation is coming to them that's for sure now," Lawrence said. "It'll come from every angle and they can bet on that."
Lawrence, who leads MSU in tackles with 28, said Tuesday that the game plan mentally for how to handle UK's plan to play Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles will be similar to how they handled University of Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier in his first-ever Southeastern Conference start.
"That's our game plan with every quarterback but of course them being freshmen, even more so," Lawrence said. "It's difficulty not having film on (Towles) but honestly, young quarterbacks take on similar trends."
Lawrence, who said he "sat on the couch" and watched Kentucky (1-3, 0-2 in SEC) take an early lead last week at home against No. 6 South Carolina saw some things that are certainly different in skill sets from the previous two matchups against Troy University and the University of South Alabama.
Lawrence said fans who watch Saturday's matchup (11:21 a.m., SEC Network) in Lexington may see MSU crowd the line of scrimmage more with the front seven trying to go forward more at the snap of the football instead of just trying to concentrate on keeping the football in front of them.
"It's going be exciting," MSU senior safety Corey Broomfield said. "I know the Kentucky coaches are going to try and do a good job of protecting them by keeping it simple for them. Hopefully they still give us chances to make plays on the ball like young players typically do."
Getting an early lead in Commonwealth Stadium may be critical to forcing either Whitlow or Towles to try and make the miracle play - something MSU's defense is hoping happens to create turnovers.
"Momentum plays such a big role in football for example the Kentucky game last week," Broomfield said. "They had a lead, getting excited and everybody was believing. Then it can go the opposite way as well when the defense can start feeling good and talking some stuff as well."
The style will likely be two different philosophies depending on which Wildcats player is behind center Saturday when UK hosts No. 20 MSU (4-0, 1-0)
"We do a great job in the box of charting keys up in the box and this week will be huge for that to be precise," MSU linebackers coach Geoff Collins said Monday. "What we will focus on this week in practice is letting your fundamentals and natural instincts take you to the football no matter what they are running. Then we'll try and narrow down how to predict what they're doing."
The last time Kentucky started a true freshman at quarterback resulted in a 30-13 home victory in 2011 over a team from the Magnolia State (University of Mississippi) as Smith finished throwing for 283 yards, most ever by a Wildcats player in his first-ever game.
"It tells you that the future is bright, but we understand and we got to win now - okay, we got to win now," Kentucky coach Joker Phillips said. "We think those (freshmen) guys give us the best chance to win. That's the reason why they're playing (and) not because we're trying to build for the future."
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