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."