It is always a tough situation when you lose your starting quarterback at any point in the season. It’s especially tough when you lose him within the first few games. But, when a player goes down it’s the next man up. Last season for the Wildcats the next man up was Stephen Johnson. Not only did Johnson step up and fill in for Drew Barker who got hurt, but he led Kentucky to their first bowl game in six years. Going into his senior season, Johnson has a lot to prove and expectation is that he get them back to another bowl game. What he can bring to the team this season, could be something special.
In today’s era of football it is a treasure to have a quarterback who can both run and throw well. Johnson happens to be one of those assets that helps Mark Stoops offense immensely. Last season Johnson threw for a little over 2,000 yards while running for 327 yards, which was fourth on the team. Being able to escape the pocket when he needs to and get yards is what makes Johnson such an amazing asset to the team. If Johnson can continue to be mobile while keeping up the passing yards, he should have no problem getting back to a bowl game.
One of the main skills a quarterback needs to have is being efficient. Last year Johnson was one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the SEC. He was eighth in the SEC for pass efficiency with 130.9. If he can continue to make smart throws and complete passes he should be in the top 5 in the SEC. There are high expectations for Johnson going into his senior season.
Maybe the most important skill that goes into being a quarterback is taking care of the ball. Being smart with the ball and making smart plays is something Johnson is very good at. In 265 passing attempts last season Johnson only threw 6 interceptions for the entire season. If Johnson can continue to make smart decisions with the ball then the Wildcats will be in good hands this season.
In his first year as a Wildcat Johnson was able to take the team where they hadn’t been in years. With high hopes and expectations for this season we’ll see what kind of senior season he is able to string together. Big Blue Nation get ready for an exciting season of Kentucky football!