Maxwell Smith named starting quarterback against Miami (Ohio)


during the second half of the UK vs. WKU football game at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, August 31, 2013. UK lost 35-26. Photo by Tessa Lighty

By Matt Overing

[email protected]

UK sophomore quarterback Maxwell Smith has been named the starting quarterback for the home opener against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday.

The UK depth chart, released earlier today, showed Smith ahead of sophomore quarterback Jalen Whitlow at quarterback. Head coach Mark Stoops confirmed the news in a press conference.

“Max came in there and did some good things (against Western Kentucky),” Stoops said. “We just feel Max gives us the best opportunity this week.”

Prior to Saturday’s game in Nashville, Stoops and his coaching staff did not reveal who the starting quarterback would be.

Whitlow started the game and completed 10-of-15 passes for 78 yards. He added seven rushes for 75 yards and a touchdown in three quarters of play.

Smith replaced Whitlow in the fourth quarter of the Cats’ 35-26 loss to the Hilltoppers on Saturday. Smith led two scoring drives and finished with 125 yards on 8-of-13 passing and a touchdown.

Junior wide receiver Demarco Robinson led UK in receiving with five catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. He said on Monday that the team respected Smith for being ready to play in the fourth quarter.

“We definitely respect him for being ready,” Robinson said. “When he shows that confidence, it makes us confident.”

Robinson added that he wasn’t sure when a quarterback change would take place.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Robinson said. “We’ll be ready for whatever (happens on Saturday).”

Last season, Smith started four games for UK before an ankle injury forced him to the sidelines for the rest of the season. In his place, Whitlow started the final seven games of the year.