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Mark Stoops expects “dinged up” Sawyer Smith to start at South Carolina

Sawyer Smith (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

Mark Stoops was surprised quarterback Sawyer Smith returned to the field for the second half of Saturady’s loss at Mississippi State after taking a shot to his shoulder at the end of the first half.

Smith threw for 232 yards in his second start as Kentucky’s starting quarterback. He attempted 41 throws and completed 15 of those passes.

“I thought he was done,” Stoops said. “(He) came back and gutted it out and really gave us everything he had there in the second half. But he was dinged up with his shoulder.”

Although banged up, Stoops expects Smith to start in Saturday’s game at South Carolina and is confident in Smith’s abilities in the pocket.

“We all still have a lot of confidence in him,” Stoops said. “The kid is banged up already. He’s got a wrist, he’s got a shoulder. He’s banged up, but he’s going to lay it on the line.

“Everybody can really relate to that and respect that. He’s going to make mistakes. This is his second start. He’s going to learn from it.

“You’ve just got to find a way to win. Getting behind and not punching it in when you’re moving the ball and not getting scores in the red zone, missing kicks and things of that nature, it’s not a good recipe right now. We’ve got to play better defensively too. It’s just the team. We’ve got to play better as a team, especially early on.”

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