If you hunger for feedback, you're probably not a quarterback. Morgan Newton, who is in his first full season as Kentucky's starting quarterback, hears plenty of feedback.
"A lot, a lot," he said this week before adding, "Some of that feedback matters more than others."
When asked what percentage of the feedback matters, Newton smiled and said, "However much the percentage coming from the coaches is, and the guys who are actually doing it."
Outside of coaches and fellow players, the feedback should fade into background noise, Newton suggested.
"You know, we try to be the best offense we can be," he said. "In order for that to be, there can only be a couple people you really listen to."
Through two games, Newton has completed only 44.4 percent of his passes. He's averaged 105.5 yards passing, but as UK Coach Joker Phillips noted, having as many as nine or 10 passes dropped diluted Newton's statistical profile.
His performance in the first two games seemed to underwhelm Newton.
"OK," he said of his play.
Just OK? "Yeah," he said. "Just OK. There's still a lot of room to improve. Everything has to get better. That's what we aimed to do (in practices this week)."
Such improvement can change the tone of the feedback that quarterbacks cannot completely elude.
"Really just cleaning up everything," Newton said of the improvement he seeks. "Being a little more efficient in the passing game. If we get that done, I think everybody will be happy."
Clemons: Dad pushed
Freshman Josh Clemons, now thrust into the starting role at tailback, is used to being pushed.
"I was always being pushed at a young age by my dad," he said of his father, Charlie, a former NFL player. "So hard work is what I try to do. With hard work, good things happen."
Earlier this week, UK Coach Joker Phillips noted how Clemons' work ethic caught the attention of the coaching staff.
"If I'd get down after practice or have a little bang-up like I had with my shoulder, he pushed me and told me to get through it," Clemons said of his father. "There's always going to be something in the way to stop you. Push through it and you'll get better."
Clemons, who became a starter after Raymond Sanders needed knee surgery this week, credited his father for making him tough-minded.
Noting that his father was a linebacker, Clemons said, "You have to have a mentality on both sides of the ball. And he really taught me how to have a tough mentality and work hard."
Through two games, junior La'Rod King has more than double the receptions of any other UK player. He's caught seven of Newton's 16 completions. Gene McCaskill has the second most with three.
Phillips squashed any notion that UK considers King a featured receiver.
"I wouldn't think it's comfort (as in a Newton-King connection) or we're designing that," Phillips said. "It's (Newton) going through his progressions and La'Rod's been open quite a bit. He's gotten behind defenders and we've tried to throw the deep ball."
Freshman receiver DeVante Parker is tied for second among U of L receivers with seven receptions. He leads the Cards with two touchdown catches.
When asked about Parker signing with U of L rather than UK, Phillips said, "We don't worry about the ones that got away. We're going to worry about him this week because he's got a chance to play. Outstanding talent. ... It will be a huge challenge to stop him. He's big (6-foot-2, 180). He's strong. He's fast. And he's got great ball skills."
Linebacker Danny Trevathan made 13 tackles in each of UK's first two games. That made him the Southeastern Conference's leader in tackles this season and extended his streak of 10 or more tackles to 11 games.
"Has a nose for the football," U of L Coach Charlie Strong said of Trevathan. "That's what you look for in a linebacker: a guy that can go make plays, make tackles. And he gets everybody lined up on defense.
"He's the leader of that defense. That's what you want out of your middle 'backer."
■ The Cat Walk will begin at 4:45 p.m. at Gate 1.
■ The UK Ticket Office at Memorial Coliseum will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets can also be bought at Commonwealth Stadium beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets are $75 each.
■ Clay Matvick will handle play-by-play on the ESPNU broadcast, with analysis from Brian Griese and sideline reporting by Allison Williams.