UK football blue-white game

Kentucky football ready to put changes to test in spring game

QB will let it fly in scrimmage

ccosby@herald-leader.comApril 23, 2011 

UKFBC

Morgan Newton, who will lead the White team in Saturday's scrimmage, will throw the ball early and often, Kentucky Coach Joker Phillips said.

MATT GOINS

  • Blue-White Game

    When: 3 p.m.
    Where: Commonwealth Stadium
    Radio: WLAP-AM 630

    ■ Admission and parking are free on a first-come, first-served basis.

    ■ The Red, Blue and Green parking lots open at 8 a.m. and fans are welcome to tailgate.

    ■ Stadium gates 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 open at 1:30 p.m.

    ■ Seating will be available in the north, west and south lower sections of the stadium.

    ■ Verizon, the event sponsor, will be positioned inside stadium gates 4 and 9, and will be giving away sunglasses, lanyards or drawstring bags while supplies last.

    ■ Team roster cards will be given away at the stadium gates. There is a coupon on the back that is good for free admission to Saturday's 7 p.m. baseball game vs. Arkansas.

    ■ The stadium ticket office outside gate 4 will be open from 1-3 p.m. in order for current season-ticket holders to renew their tickets.

    ■ Concession stands and the Nike Team Shops will be available on the stadium concourse.

    ■ The game will be broadcast on WLAP-AM 630 in Lexington and WHAS-AM 840 in Louisville.

The University of Kentucky football team had two main objectives this spring: improve its passing game with quarterback Morgan Newton and get the defense acclimated to co-coordinator Rick Minter's new multiple scheme.

The Wildcats will get a litmus test as to how those projects have gone in Saturday's Blue-White Spring Game at Commonwealth Stadium.

Newton has looked comfortable in his first full spring practice as the starter, and Coach Joker Phillips hinted Wednesday that he'll turn Newton loose on Saturday.

"In spring games, you want to throw the ball, and everybody wants to see you throw the ball," he said. "I want to make sure we're efficient in the throwing game. Throwing it, catching it, throwing it to the right people, and moving the football. Just overall execution."

As for the defense, Minter has implemented several new packages, which include a handful of players in new positions. Phillips said the defense handled the changes early but struggled in the latter half of the spring.

"We took a step back in the last scrimmage. I'm hoping we'll see a step forward in the spring game," Phillips said. "Rick threw it all at 'em, and some of their brains did cramp up halfway through."

Phillips had originally decided to make Saturday's game offense vs. defense because of the team's lack of depth but changed course Thursday. It will be a true Blue (second team) vs. White (first team) format. The Blue team will get a 14-0 advantage on the scoreboard at the start of the game.

"The players wanted more excitement and felt that a game format would do it," Phillips said. "I know that a scrimmage scoring system can be confusing and this will be easier to follow."

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