What happened Saturday at Kroger Field?
I will be the first one to admit that the quarterback play in Saturday’s home opener against Central Michigan left me frustrated and disappointed. Which is probably putting it far nicer than many fans did after UK’s lackluster performance to open the season. Winning cures a lot, but the Cats 35-20 victory still left a lot to be desired and raised more questions than it answered.
How often was the phrase “Terry Touchdown Era” used after Mark Stoops announced the JUCO transfer as the starter on Monday of last week? We can all agree that is was used a lot and with good reason. Wilson came to UK highly recruited and deemed a very capable duel threat QB. After beating out Gunnar Hoak for first team the Big Blue Nation was salivating to get their first look at Terry Touchdown against real competition.
Call it jitters or rust, call it whatever you’d like, I will just say that the opening two quarters of the Terry Touchdown era did not go well. At all.
Wilson threw two interceptions and had an inexcusable fumble to begin his career at Kentucky. Ultimately he finished 11-18 for 78 yards with 2 picks and a fumble. As if that wasn’t all bad enough, Wilson had to leave the game shortly before halftime with an injury.
Week 1 SEC TD:INT Ratio
37 Passing Touchdowns
*Both ints thrown by Kentucky’s Terry Wilson*
— Garth Garrels (@GarthGarrelsSEC) September 4, 2018
Terry Wilson is headed to the locker room after throwing second interception vs. CMU, holding his left arm as he was helped off the field.
— Gary Graves (@GaryBGraves) September 1, 2018
I will say this for Terry Wilson, he has pretty solid pocket presence. He has stepped up and shifted a few times today.
Gunnar Hoak stepped in shortly after and through a beautiful go-ahead touchdown pass that ignited Kroger Field.
Myself, everyone I was watching the game with, and the internet all immediately began to indict Wilson and deem Hoak as the “guy.”
Only after that touchdown pass Hoak didn’t look much better, as he finished 4-9 for 50 yards and that lone touchdown pass. Stoops placed Wilson back in the game to finish things out. Leaving the QB position as a somewhat fluid situation heading into the Florida game.
This is perfect. And Gunnar looked great but still got pulled for the turnover machine. Good decision Stoops. You might have actually covered a spread by leaving Hoak in the game.
— Josh Chandler (@jochan30) September 2, 2018
Time to move on
Game 1 can just be chalked up as a do over for both QBs. Mark Stoops confirmed that Terry Wilson will remain the starter at Monday’s press conference.
“I really don’t believe in having a short leash for a quarterback, Stoops said. Again, within reason. I’m not going to sit here and tell you how everything is going to play out, because I don’t know.”
Terry Wilson will have a perfect opportunity to make amends in a tough road environment this weekend. If he is the one to break the streak then no one will ever remember the Central Michigan game happened.
Thankfully, the run game came to save the day on Satruday, which could become a common theme for this season. Snell ran for 125 yards and two scores. While the most pleasant surprise of the early season was AJ Rose who ran for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 8 carries. If those two can keep putting in that kind of work then it will mask a lot of deficiencies that Kentucky may have on the offensive side of the call.
I must admit, a quarterback controversy is not the best to have thing when traveling to play Florida in the swamp and break a 31 game winning streak.
Odds to beat the Gators now seem even more lopsided than usual.
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