A Chance To Perform In Front Of The BBN

For only the second time in the last few years, the Kentucky Wildcats held a version of a spring game on Saturday. A couple of years the game didn’t happen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last season’s renovations at Kroger Field were the reason. Due to a huge number of players being out, it became more of an open practice. However, the fans still got a chance to watch Mark Stoops’ squad. Let’s break it all down with the 2024 Kentucky Spring Game Recap

Meet The New Quarterback

Arguably the biggest draw to Saturday’s game was a chance to finally see Brock Vandagriff in action. He certainly didn’t disappoint by looking strong.  The Georgia transfer led the first-team offense to a couple of scores against the first-team defense and another score against the second team. Vandagriff hit Khamari Anderson and Dane Key for touchdowns. He concentrated more on the short and medium pass game rather than the long ball. However, he did hit Key on a 40-yarder.

Furthermore, he showed off some running skills. Several times he took off on quarterback draws. Much like Will Levis he can pick up yards running the ball and that’s something defenses are going to have to watch out for.

Continuing on with our 2024 Kentucky Spring Game Recap let’s look at another big positive from today.

Improving The Pace

Not only were Kentucky fans excited to see Vandagriff they wanted to see what new offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan’s attack would look like. Much has been made by us here at Last Word and others about how last year’s squad under Liam Coen was more tortoise than hare. In 2023 Kentucky was at the bottom in the average number of plays per game.

During Saturday’s scrimmage, the offense alternated between Vandagriff, Beau Allen, and Cutter Boley. When all was said and done UK averaged a play about every 2o seconds. While that’s not Jacksonville State numbers it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

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As we finish up our 2024 Kentucky Spring Game Recap let’s flip to the other side of the ball and look at the defense.

Players Stepping Up

Heading into Saturday the main reason for the spring game being the format it was is due to a number of players being out. Potential All-American Deone Walker did not play along with Keeshawn Silver, Josaih Hayes, and Octavious Oxendine. As we told you in our position preview, that’s most of your starters up front. In addition, starting safeties Zion Childress and Jordan Lovett were unavailable.

However, Brad White’s group still made some great plays during the scrimmage. All-SEC cornerback Maxwell Hairston played great defense on Barion Brown pass in the end zone preventing a score. Another cornerback Jaremiah Anglin, who’s only been cleared to play for a short time, got a pick-six.

Final Thoughts

Given the format and the number of players out it was hard to judge a whole lot from Saturday’s game. However, getting a first look at Vandagriff and the Hamdan offense was certainly worth a look. From early accounts, both the new quarterback and the pace of play has to make fans happy. From now until the season opener against Southern Mississippi mission one is getting everyone healthy.

Thanks for checking out our 2024 Kentucky Spring Game Recap here at Last Word On College Football. Up next we’ll continue our position previews with a a look at the linebackers.

 

Photo courtesy: Jeff Faughender/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

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