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Kentucky football squad finishing spring practice with annual Blue-White game, then taking a break

By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

Mark Stoops will get one more look at his Kentucky squad before taking a summer break.
The Wildcats will conclude spring practice with the annual Blue-White game set for 6 p.m. Friday night at Kroger Field. The format will feature the Blue team against the White team in four 10-minute quarters. The team’s quarterbacks and specialists will play for both teams and scoring will be similar to a regular-season game.
“I’m looking forward to the spring game (Friday), wrapping up the spring,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Thursday. “It’s been a very productive spring. It’s been a long time. Guys have put in a lot of work. We had a good, strong winter. Guys were lifting and running and the spring, we stretch it out. Going three days a week for five weeks, it’s a lot of work.”

Mark Stoops (Photo by Keith Taylor/Kentucky Today)

Kentucky finished 10-3 last season and defeated Penn State in the VRBO Citrus Bowl, the team’s best finish in 41 years. Kentucky returns several players from last year’s squad, including quarterback Terry Wilson and linebacker Kash Daniel. Kentucky is looking to replace linebacker Josh Allen and Benny Snell.
I’m pleased,” Stoops said. “We have a long way to go, but that’s what spring’s for. We gotta wrap this up and continue to have a really solid summer, but it’s been productive. We know we have some holes to fill and guys are working hard and we’re well aware of that. I feel like there are some other areas of this team that there’s some strength and we have some experience and some really good players. We’re looking to grow in those areas and looking to improve where we’re inexperienced.” 
Stoops added the overall roster is stocked with talent, giving his team more depth at several positions.
“I think just in general I feel good about where we’re at,” Stoops said. “The progression, all of our guys seem to be improving. There’s not a whole heck of a lot of dead weight anymore in our program. If there is they have a tendency to move their way out and move on. I think most of our guys are progressing.”
Allen invited to NFL Draft
Allen will be among 23 college standouts who have been invited to the NFL Draft set for April 25-27 in Nashville.
Allen is a projected first-round pick, was a pass rush terror for the Wildcats the entire 2018 season. With 31.5 career sacks and 17 sacks in 2018, he broke UK’s career and single-season records and moved up to No. 9 on the Southeastern Conference’s career sacks chart. 
His 11 career forced fumbles tied former Wildcats and current Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan for UK’s career mark.  He led the team with 88 tackles and paced the SEC in sacks, tackles for loss (21.5) and forced fumbles (5). He also was among the NCAA leaders in sacks, TFL and forced fumbles. Thirteen of Allen’s 17 sacks were in the second half, four in the third quarter and nine in the fourth quarter. In five of UK’s wins, Allen had a sack in the fourth quarter that was crucial to the Wildcat victory, including two sack/fumble/UK recoveries on the opponent’s final possession of one-score games.
The NFL Draft Red Carpet will take place on April 25 at The Green at Riverfront Park.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.

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