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Video: Three-man QB race still wide open

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FB 09_10 UK_TN WEB 32.jpgOne week and one major scrimmage into Kentucky football fall camp has not been enough to name a starting quarterback.

Following a scrimmage at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, head coach Joker Phillips said there has been no separation in the three-man race between senior Mike Hartline, sophomore Morgan Newton and redshirt freshman Ryan Mossakowski.

"I didn't see anybody that stuck out," Phillips said after Saturday's scrimmage. "I think we've got to give this competition another week because there wasn't any huge separation amongst them. We'll give it another week and try to decide Sunday of next week whether or not we're ready to make a decision."

It isn't that any of the three signal-callers have yet to distinguish themselves with positive plays, Phillips said.

"They all were productive (but) they all had a couple of blunders by all three of the quarterbacks," Phillips said. "The thing we're trying to eliminate is that blunder. We talked about that yesterday, that you can't have that blunder from the quarterback position.

 "Production is not always the key to winning the quarterback position, especially in your first week. In your first week, one thing you're looking at is where are there eyes, are they talking, what are they seeing when they're out there, how are they talking to you when they come back. All three of them know what's going on out there."

Phillips said they threw the ball more Saturday in an effort to give the quarterbacks more reps. Timing was also a priority and still a concern after the scrimmage.

"It's hard to get down your timing in a week with everybody," Phillips said. "Hopefully that will come next week. We weren't as productive as we'd like because of the timing."

Ideally, Phillips said he would love to name a starter sooner rather than later.

"I would love to," Phillips said, "because I wouldn't be getting these questions."

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders offered a similar assessment of the three quarterbacks. Sometimes they looked good, at other times it was clear they have only practiced a week.

"I was really pleased with some of the things they did and I was a little aggravated with some of the things they did," Sanders said.

Sanders offered an individual assessment of each quarterback in the battle:

- "Hartline, I thought, was really sharp from a mental standpoint. He made some nice throws, did a great job running the offense and did some good things."

- "Morgan had a couple of plays that makes you wonder what in the world he's thinking, but yet he has the ability to make some throws and he pulls the thing down and has a long run."

- "Mossakowski is somewhere in between. He's not quite managing the offense as well as he needs to but he does a pretty good job."

Phillips has accidentally referred to the quarterbacks as "both," implying a two-man battle, but reassured reporters Saturday that Mossakowski, the least experience of the three, is "definitely" in the battle.

"He moved his unit," Phillips said. "Sometimes my mind is all over the place, but he definitely moves his unit as good as any. It's a three-man race. There's no question about that."

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