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April 25, 2014

Game Glance: Kentucky spring football game

Game Information
Site: Commonwealth Stadium (42,500), Lexington, Ky.
TV: UK IMG Sports Network (Jeff Piecoro play-by-play, Dusty Bonner analyst)
Radio: UK IMG Sports Network (Tom Leach play-by-play, Freddie Maggard analyst, Dick Gabriel sideline)

Fan Information
Gates open: 2:30 p.m. Gates 1,2,3,4,6,7,9,12,14 and 15 will be open. Due to construction, gates 10 and 11 will be closed.

Parking: Parking gates open at 8 a.m. Parking surrounding Commonwealth Stadium is free and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Additionally, parking will be available downtown at: the High Street surface lot, directly south of Rupp Arena; and the Transit Center Garage on Vine Street ($3/day/vehicle).

Transportation: The UK Football Express downtown shuttle ($2.50 one-way/$5 round-trip) will begin at 12:30 p.m. and will pick up at the Shops at the Civic Center (430 W. Vine) and LexTran Transit Center Garage (200 W. Vine). The UK Football Express campus shuttle ($2 one-way) will begin at 1:30 p.m. and will pick up in front of the Kentucky Clinic on Nicholasville Rd. (servicing the Visitor RV lot and Parking Structure 6) and at the corner of Rose St./Huguelet (servicing Parking Structures 2 & 3).

Construction impact: UK has begun a multi-stage renovation of Commonwealth Stadium. As a result of the ongoing construction:
-South upper level and lower level seating areas will be closed.
-South upper level and lower level concourses will be closed.
-East concourse between gates 14 & 15 will be closed.
-Gates 10 & 11 will be closed.

Tailgating: In order to accommodate the parking demand, please confine your tailgate to behind your vehicle and in one parking stall. ONE SPACE, ONE VEHICLE. Please keep all drive lanes clear for efficient vehicle ingress/egress.
In the interest of safety, fans' golf cart use is prohibited in and around Commonwealth Stadium, to include all parking lots, sidewalks, streets, etc. Large industrial-sized cookers and portable generators must be approved by UK Athletics prior to game day.
Cooper Drive will be closed to all vehicle parking/tailgating. The Wildcat Refuge, located outside Gate 9 will open at 12:30 p.m. The CatWalk will take place at approximately 1:45 p.m. ET (subject to change).

Game Format
Kentucky will play four 12-minute quarters, head coach Mark Stoops said Friday. The quarterbacks won't be live, and there won't be live kickoffs.

"So operationally, we'll have our snapper and punters and do the field goals, but outside of that no live kicks, and no kickoffs at all," Stoops said. "So we'll just put the ball down and turn it around and go the other way."

Some players may swamp teams during the game, Stoops said, though he'd like to keep that to a minimum. The plan is to have the first-team offense face the second-team defense and vice versa.

"There's obviously some positions where there's some ties or some guys that are neck-and-neck and so we split it up a little bit and tried to also give a little bit of depth to each team, so you could spell some guys a few plays here and there," Stoops said.

Last year, Kentucky ran about 147 plays and Stoops would like to run something similar this year.

"The first half will be normal outside of just shortened a little bit," Stoops said. "So we'll get after it the first half. The second half, if we're getting enough plays we may run the clock a little bit in the fourth quarter."

The Quarterbacks
Though Kentucky will divide into Blue and White teams, it may not assign quarterbacks to specific squads.

Three QBs -- sophomore Patrick Towles, redshirt freshman Reese Phillips and freshman Drew Barker are vying for the starting spot in the fall.

Stoops said whoever starts Saturday's scrimmage with the first team offense will provide "a little indication" of where the race for starting quarterback stands.

"I mean, sure," Stoops said. "I'd be lying if I said (otherwise). Last year it really was a toss-up. This year, I think we're starting to narrow it down. We'll put the person out there with the first group that we think has earned the right to go out there with the first group tomorrow. I think it's very close still -- it's very close -- but we'll see.

Offensive coordinator Neal Brown declined to discuss quarterbacks on Friday, saying "I'm going to have to talk about them all day tomorrow."

But Brown said the QBs will have targets to whom they can throw.

"We got some numbers back (at wide receiver)," Brown said. "Ryan Timmons is going to go tomorrow, which I'm excited about. He's had a really good spring. Will try to get him involved early Thaddeus Snodgrass been a little banged up, missed practice earlier in the week, he's going to go."

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