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Web Wednesday: Football du jour edition

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Each Wednesday here at Cat Scratches, we're going to take a look back at the latest week's news in UK Athletics from around the web.

Best on the 'net

Football: Kentucky Camp tour: Veterans hold edge in QB battle (Danielle Lewis, CBSSports.com)

No starter has been officially named, but sophomore Maxwell Smith and senior Morgan Newton continue to lead the QB battle at Kentucky. Freshmen Patrick Towles and Jalen Whitlow are in the picture, but appear to be fading behind the two veterans.

Smith started four games for the Wildcats in 2011, completing 84 of 153 passes for 819 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. Newton appeared in nine games last season, completing 83 of 174 passes for 793 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Football: Robinson showing more consistency this year (Jennifer Smith, Lexington Herald-Leader)

It wasn't until the 5-foot-10 wide receiver's spring grades posted that Phillips thought the player finally had this college thing figured out.

"He felt really good about himself," Phillips said. "Not only had he accomplished things on the field, but he accomplished things off the field also."

Football: QB order has not changed (Kyle Tucker, The Courier-Journal)

Offensive coordinator Randy Sanders set a pecking order after Saturday's scrimmage, saying sophomore Maxwell Smith and senior Morgan Newton were ahead of freshmen Patrick Towles and Jalen Whitlow -- and hinting that Smith led Newton because of the latter's continued recovery from shoulder surgery.

Sanders said Monday that order hasn't changed.

"We've got a couple guys competing hard," he said. "It's a good situation to be in. I think it will sort itself out, the way I see things going, the way things are happening. We just need some more time. You don't want to make a decision too quickly. You want to make sure you're doing the right thing."

Football: Camp is all work and more sleep for new dad La'Rod King (Jennifer Smith, Lexington Herald-Leader)

His son's birth has changed more than just King's sleep schedule.

It's changed everything about the senior's life.

"It makes you more humble," he said. "The goal to get to the NFL has that much more meaning. There's nothing like providing for your family, and to do it by doing something you love would make it that much easier.

Football: Miles Simpson, Malcolm McDuffen get first chance to replace Guy, Trevathan for Wildcats (Jon Hale, KyForward.com)

Trevathan and Guy were two of six starters UK lost on defense from last year's team, leaving a pair of big holes to fill. In their place, the Wildcats are turning to sophomores Malcolm McDuffen and Miles Simpson.

"I know I'm not Winston Guy," Simpson, who is listed at No. 1 at the hybrid safety/linebacker position on the depth chart, said. "I'm not trying to be Winston Guy. I'm trying to be myself and do my own thing."

Football: Kentucky football's blind side is untried (Kyle Tucker, The Courier-Journal)

For UK and its quartet of righty QBs, the blind side is brand new. Left tackle Chandler Burden and left guard Stuart Hines are gone from last season, taking with them 61 career starts. They've been replaced by true sophomore tackle Darrian Miller and redshirt freshman guard Zach West.

"There's a lot of responsibility to protect the quarterback and to perform," Miller said. "It's pressure all the way around."

Women's basketball: Visit to defending champs highlights tough UK women's non-conference schedule (Jennifer Smith, Lexington Herald-Leader)

Kentucky will get a chance to take down defending national champion Baylor in its second game of the season.

That is one of many big games on UK's non-conference women's basketball schedule released Tuesday.

After their home opener against Delaware State on Nov. 10, the Cats will head to Waco, Texas, to take on Brittney Griner and the Bears, who went a perfect 40-0 last season. That game, on Nov. 13, will be part of the State Farm Tip-off Classic.

Men's tennis: Matt Emery named UK tennis assistant coach (Lexington Herald-Leader)

Emery, the son of former longtime UK coach Dennis Emery, served as a volunteer assistant for the Cats last season.

"Matt was born to be a collegiate coach with his ability to relate to players and his endless knowledge of the game of tennis," Kauffmann said. "Matt has incredible experience after serving as a volunteer assistant with us last year and a very successful stint as an assistant coach at Maryland. We are both alumni of this great university and know what it means to wear Kentucky across your chest."

Former Wildcats making headlines

Jodie Meeks recognizes importance in backing up Kobe Bryant (Mark Medina, Los Angeles Times)

The Lakers had just finalized a trade that would bring them Dwight Howard. Immediately, Meeks imagined what it would be like to join a star-studded roster featuring an elite defender (Howard), an elite passer (Steve Nash), an elite scorer (Kobe Bryant) and elite post player (Pau Gasol). The thought of receiving countless open three-pointers because his teammates were double-teamed seemed so tantalizing. Later that night, Meeks agreed to join the Lakers with a two-year deal, worth $3 million, which became official Monday when he signed the contract.

"I felt like this was the best situation," Meeks said Monday in a phone interview with The Times. "To have a chance to play for a team like this will make me better. I'm playing with so many good people."

Dream year just keeps getting better for Davis (David Haugh, Chicago Tribune)

When Davis finally ran onto the floor, his father in the 12th row pulled out a camera to capture another big moment, the kind that have been more scarce than they were in college or Perspectives Charter School. In six Olympic games, Davis has averaged 8½ minutes, 4.3 points, three rebounds but gained an appreciation no statistic can measure.

"It's been tough coming from Kentucky where I was That Guy," Davis said Friday. "I represent Chicago every time I step on the court. So I'm just glad to be here and want to perform when I get in. I'm lucky these guys are teaching me how to become legendary, like they are."

Targeted tight end back in the Denver Broncos' playbook (Lindsay H. Jones, The Denver Post)

That first player who caught the first pass from Manning in Thursday's preseason opener at Chicago, that's Jacob Tamme. And he plays tight end, a position that last year often seemed to be an afterthought in the spread-option Tim Tebow offense.

Tamme, one of two free-agent tight ends signed in the offseason, was the target of two of Manning's seven passes (one fell incomplete) against Chicago. Backup tight ends Virgil Green and Cornelius Ingram were also targeted by other quarterbacks against the Bears, proof that the Broncos' offense will be far more diverse in 2012.

News from UKAthletics.com

Football: Busy Days for Football Cats

Men's golf: Men's Golf Announces 2012-13 Schedule

Gymnastics: Gymnastics Releases 2013 Competition Schedule

Men's soccer: Asher Named Preseason All-Conference USA

Women's soccer: Women's Soccer Picked Fourth in SEC East by Coaches

Volleyball: Volleyball Begins Season Ranked No. 13 in the Nation

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