TAYLOR's Thoughts: UK QB Race

LEXINGTON – Kentucky offensive coordinator Joker Phillips has no idea who will be the Wildcats' starting quarterback next fall.

"You guys tell me," Phillips said following Kentucky's Blue-White scrimmage on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.

It could be Curtis Pulley. It could be Mike Hartline. Don't forget Will Fidler.

Indeed the battle is on to find Andre Woodson's replacement and it should be a fun to watch the race transpire.

Judging by the performances of Pulley and Hartline in the white team's 23-33 triumph over the blue squad on Saturday, it's anyone's guess who will be replacing Andre Woodson in the pocket.

One glance at the final numbers from the scrimmage indicates that Pulley has an advantage and the early nod. Pulley threw for 134 yards and one score, while rushing for 82 yards and one touchdown. However, Hartline was equally effective, throwing for 124 yards and one score. Hartline rushed for 38 yards and one touchdown. Most of Hartline's passes were dropped by the intended receiver, which hurt his pass completion ratio.

Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said the battle between the two signal callers was indicative of what's been going on behind the scenes during spring drills and added that he wasn't surprised.

"I have been telling everybody that it is a very competitive battle and it showed to be that today," he said. "I think without looking at the tape that it is going to be very difficult to pick one at this point, no one right now has a clear edge. The good news is that I think they both did some really good things and I feel very confident that our offense is not going to fall off the face of the earth with either one of them at quarterback. I am pleased with the level of play from both of them."

While Pulley and Hartline are involved in a two-man tug-of-war, don't be surprised to see Fidler figure into the equation once fall camp begins in August. Fidler threw for 67 yards, including an impressive 57-yard touchdown strike to Dicky Lyons in the second half.

"He was limited this spring but I think he clearly showed a few things today as well," Brooks said. "Once he has a whole summer of rehab and lifting then he will get his strength back. He will get his comfort level back after he gets out and throws a lot. He is a guy that is in the mix at some level as well. I feel a lot better about this position at the end of spring practice then I did at the start."

Brooks said he hopes to have a starter in place once preparation for the upcoming season begins, but didn't rule out the possibility of playing both in one fashion or another.

"To me, it is always better to have two good quarterbacks and I think that is where we are," he said.

Sometimes two is better than one.

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