QB Smith out; Whitlow, Towles will share duties

Kentucky starting quarterback Maxwell Smith is out indefinitely this season after tearing a ligament in his left ankle on Saturday, Coach Joker Phillips announced on Monday morning.

In his place to face unbeaten Mississippi State this weekend at Commonwealth Stadium will be two true freshmen quarterbacks Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles.

The head coach said the red shirt will come off of Towles, the Mr. Football from Highlands, and he and Whitlow will share quarterback duties.

“They’ll both play,” Phillips said simply.

If Smith misses the rest of the season after surgery, Kentucky will apply for a medical hardship on his behalf.

When asked how Smith was handling the situation, Phillips said he is down.

“He’s worked his tail off to get in position to play major college football,” Phillips said.

Smith’s ankle was crushed on the second play of the game against South Carolina on Saturday. Whitlow played the rest of the game in his place, completing 12 of 23 passes for 118 yards with two interceptions.

Whitlow also ran for an 8-yard touchdown in the loss.

Towles has spent this season running the scout team for Kentucky.

“We’ll see tomorrow exactly what he knows, how much he knows, but again, it’s difficult when you haven’t gotten any reps but we’ll get him the reps this week to see how much he knows and what he can do,” Phillips said of Towles.

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at jsmith3@herald-leader.com.
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